Casita de Colores – Women and Children‘s Refuge

Since 2002 we have been funding the project „Casita de Colores“ – the only women and children’s refuge in Merlo-Moreno, a city with a population of approx. 1 million. The Foundation bears the costs for all staff wages, for electricity, telephone and food. We also pay the school fees for all children who live there until they have completed high-school.

It is a home where mistreated and broken women are taken in with their children and are cared for and built up mentally.

Again during their third visit to Argentina in October 2011 (as always the flight was paid out of their own pockets) Astrid and Toni Schmid were able to see how well the project „Women and Children’s Refuge in Merlo-Moreno“ has been accepted and how important this project is for the women and children there. The poverty in the city of Merlo-Moreno, a city with a population of about 1 million in the Buenos Aires region, was devastating. The Women and Children’s Refuge we fund is the only such home in the whole city.

For the women, most of which in Argentina have lots of children (often as many as 8 children) it is often the only place they can go to escape the domestic violence. Due to unemployment rates of over 30% and little support from the State – the equivalent of only about € 50.00 per family per month – men with families are very prone to becoming violent. The traditional family image with the man as  breadwinner and the wife at home caring for all the children is often destroyed. The man’s anger is often taken out on the wife and children. Nevertheless most of the women stay with the family – mostly out of tradition – as long as only they are being abused. It’s not until the children are also being exposed tot he violence that they decide to seek shelter in the Women and Children’s Refuge.

Both the women and the children are then often in a physical and mental condition that needs intensive care and therapy.

We have made a business management contract with the bishop Monsignore Fernando Maria Bargallo. He is subject to directives from the Foundation and is responsible for the available funds. According to the agreement a detailed cost sheet – down to the last has Peso has  to be handed in each Quarter.