During their stay in CIMA, children gain emotional stability that allows them to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem. This process of personal development is of greater importance to give them the ability to face life’s challenges and manage conflicting situations in a positive way.
- They gain maturity and long to overcome and succeed.
- Also at CIMA children develop discipline, life hygiene and restructure their lifestyle.
- They learn the values of work, effort, respect for others and the norms of coexistence and a sense of responsibility.
- They also develop the social skills necessary to achieve a successful reintegration into society.
Finally, CIMA prepares them for the future, providing them with support to resume and finish their schooling and also a technical training that allows them to acquire the basic knowledge to develop autonomously in their adult life.
Over the course of its 30 years of work, CIMA has welcomed around 2,700 children, of whom an estimated 70 has progressed, successfully achieving their family and social reintegration, and the 30th has fallen after the discharge, often due to an early departure against the team’s will
- Children find in CIMA a space of affection and love that covers the affective void that sometimes exists in their home. The team tries to develop parent-to-child relationships with children so that they gradually feel confident and consider CIMA as a home and not an institution. At CIMA they are heard, they receive attention and advice, they feel they are important. This relationship of affection is a key element in the rehabilitation process, as for some children it is the first time they see adults striving and caring about them.
- This love is unconditional. Children are accepted and loved as they are. They cannot be driven from the home for having misbehavior. However, this does not imply in any way weakened, lack of demand on the part of educators or lack of discipline. Otherwise, understanding the child’s needs well means providing a framework of safety, limits and discipline that he or she so needs to find himself and hers again.
- The workshops contribute a lot to the process of personal development,allowing children to enhance their skills, develop their talents, realize that they are able to do positive things. The variety of workshops is one of the originalities of CIMA’s methodology found in few other homes.
- This long process of psychological strengthening aims to transform the child into an agent of his own change. It is necessary for the child to realize that he must be able to find in himself the resources necessary to succeed and to face a family and social environment that will remain dysfunctional.
- In interviews with children, families and volunteers, the semi-open regime of the home is recurringly as an important factor that has attracted them. The absence of a gate and a wall at the entrance contributes to creating a family atmosphere.
- Group operation and companionship are important elements of the CIMA model that promote rehabilitation. The child is integrated into a group and actively participates in its proper functioning. Become aware of the possibilities of change you have, seeing others moving forward and coming forward. Children have a positive influence on each other. The cohesion of the group is important and several children maintain contact with each other when they leave CIMA.
- Without the commitment and vocation of the professionals who make up the CIMA team nothing would be possible. With few resources and a lot of desire, a lot of work is done. It should be noted that several former CIMA residents now work at CIMA as teachers, tutors or volunteers. They explain it as a thank you for what CIMA has given them and the desire to return the help they received to children who have the same track record as them.
- From the beginning and thanks to the will of its founder,CIMA has built an international support network made up of natural people, associations and foundations. Some examples of partnerships by former CIMA volunteers follow. This ability of CIMA to generate a sustainable commitment in volunteer time and the creation of support initiatives is a strength that allows it to continue to develop despite the worrying lack of economic resources.
- Enhancing the relationship with the family is of greater importance. CIMA does not supplement the family. The ultimate goal is the reintegration of the child into their family environment. Family visits are very important because they allow children to maintain contact. The CIMA team also always seeks to establish links with mothers and fathers or other family members so that they do not free themselves from their parental responsibilities.
- Strengthen social follow-up work to families and simultaneously develop awareness-raising and training work to achieve changes in education patterns.
- Strengthen individual therapeutic work. Some children suffer from severe psychological trauma and need proper care. The risk of relapse after CIMA is much stronger for children who have failed to overcome their traumas.
- Strengthen the preparation of the egress and life outside CIMA. In fact, the institutionalization of young people generates a loss of independence. Living in shelter for several months or years, they tend to lose their autonomy. For example, they have difficulty managing money or are not used to making decisions alone. There are few complementary programs to CIMA that propose social accompaniment to young people who are newly graduates. For young people who do not benefit from such programs, sometimes independence can be difficult and puts the rehabilitation process at risk.