With great devastations in the world we can easily lose hope of humanity. However, if we take time to look around we can still find great things that lift up our hope. During my visit to Antigua Guatemala for a photojournalism workshop with Foundry in July 2014, I sort of stumbled upon this gem that is hidden in the town of Santa Maria de Jesús, about 10 km from Antigua under the slopes of Volcán de Agua. Nueva Vida is a school for children with disabilities founded by an American nurse, Judy Kerschner.
After spending a few hours with Judy over coffee and lunch, at the school and also at her cozy home, I come to admire her for taking the chances to start a new life in a new country. In pursuit of peace and happiness, Judy strengthened her relation with God and found her calling. Through her commitment I think Judy gave herself and the children a second chance to enjoy life as she believes God has planned for them.
This photo series only show some highlights during my brief visit to the school. To learn more about the school and to donate, you can click here.
Judy Kerschner came to Antigua Guatemala to share her gift as a certified nurse with a wealth of experience working with people with disabilities.
After 4 years working as nurse, in 2000 she founded a school for children with disabilities. Nueva Vida is the name of the school. New Life is indeed what the children are getting with the right education.
As time goes by, the school starts to accept children with no disabilities who have had problems at schools.
Nueva Vida School is primarily a school for children with disabilities that embraces children with no disabilities but having academic problems. Like that!
Children in the school are taught about their body understand what was appropriate so that they understand if they are being abused sexually.
Someone (or organization) donated a special room equipped with tools for the children to train their sensory skills. Judy hopes to be able to use the room to its full potential.
Who says the blind cannot lead the blind? The teacher is blind and used to be a student of the school. Now he has the opportunity to bless this blind student one on one. It was fascinating..
They also have a teacher with psychology studies background too.
This is the Headmaster. They have one foreign teacher and one foreign volunteer. The rest of the school staff are Guatemalan.
Those are the pictures of those who matter to Judy back home in the US. She visits them as often as time allows. Judy says she has been blessed with good friends who keep her company.