Glasswing volunteers continue to work with returned migrants

Published on 6 November, 2017 by Glasswing

The volunteers are wearing bright blue t-shirts with a clipboard in hand and a friendly smile. They’re getting ready for the day, preparing for the dozens of migrant returnees that will walk through the doors of the Migration Center. The migrants, already having experienced untold hardships after fleeing their home country, will arrive at the Center after spending a minimum of 12 hours on a bus, returning from the border between Mexico and the United States.

Volunteers like Mauricio, Brenda, and Kevin, provide much-needed care and support to returning families and unaccompanied minors on a weekly basis. These efforts have helped thousands of returnees reclaim a sense of dignity and feel support from their fellow patriots. As volunteers, the group of young people work closely with returned children and youth, providing them the attention they need to ease their arrival in the country. The volunteer’s charisma and positive attitude generate a sense of trust with the young people and their families. Among other activities, volunteers host self-care workshops for returnees as well as International Children’s Day celebrations at the Center since 2014.

‘‘In my role as lead volunteer, I make sure the returnees feel safe and calm. I take the time to play with the younger children and always keep in mind that they are going through a difficult situation. I think it is very meaningful for the returnees, especially the younger ones. Children rarely forget adults who treated them well, even if just for a few hours. Relatives also appreciate when you treat them well. My job is to create a tranquil environment, and I’m glad my support makes a difference,’’ says lead volunteer Mauricio.

Glasswing has supported the Migrant Reception Center in San Salvador (Dirección de Atención al Migrante La Chacra) since 2014 in response to the migration crisis affecting the Central American – and more specifically the Northern Triangle – region. Emigration, as well as reinsertion, pose many challenges for the Northern Triangle. The impact of emigration, and the many root causes continue to present grave challenges for the region. We work closely with Save the Children, World Vision, and the IOM to provide these services. Volunteers work directly with children and youth returnees, providing immediate attention to them. As of 2017, Glasswing has also been implementing Girls Clubs for adolescent girl returnees, offering them a safe space to connect with other girls and adolescents, build essential life skills, have access to mentors, and the support they need to thrive. To date, we have provided assistance to 16,540 children and youth.