Filosofía de CIMA

Guiding Principles of CIMA

The best interest of the child prevails above all.

The children and adolescents in CIMA require rehabilitation; they need help to overcome certain personal difficulties. The program is designed to support their physical, intellectual, emotional, psychological, and social development.

he child is not an object but a human being with rights.

Children and adolescents are respected as individuals with all their rights intact.

The program has a Christian humanistic foundation that embraces the values of the Gospel.

The children and adolescents receive Christian education. The CIMA team endeavors to embody the values of the Gospel, ensuring that the adults who work there reflect these values in their personal lives and interactions with the children.

Unconditional love is essential for all equally.

Love is not contingent on behavior. No child or adolescent is ever expelled due to misconduct. Many have been expelled from schools, homes, or even their own families. Repeating such rejection would perpetuate the failures that have damaged the self-esteem of these children and adolescents.

CIMA encourages relationships with families; it does not replace the family.

CIMA aims to be a warm and welcoming home, but the staff is aware that it can never replace the family. CIMA's goal is to strengthen family ties to enable the long-term reintegration of the child and adolescent into their family.

The focus of the program is the child immersed in a group of which they are an active part.

Each child belongs to a group of a maximum of 16 peers per house. Interaction among them is of paramount importance. The aim is to break the mold limited to the interaction between an adult and a group of children. Each individual is responsible for the group's well-being.

Admission to the foster home is voluntary.

The child must be aware that they have issues to address and must desire their rehabilitation. CIMA does not accept a child who does not want to stay because keeping them against their will would be counterproductive.

If the child or adolescent leaves the program, they are free to return.

CIMA recognizes that not everyone can achieve rehabilitation on their first attempt. If instances of leaving the home persist, the family is suggested to seek a more structured program for their child.

Continuous communication with the child and adolescent is encouraged

Communication is of primary importance. Therefore, besides psychological care and the intervention of tutors, all staff are urged to seize every opportunity to converse with the children and adolescents.

The child or adolescent assumes responsibilities.

Living in a community implies that the youth participate in fulfilling certain tasks for the benefit of all: cleaning, kitchen support, hydroponics, apiculture, etc. The group's smooth operation depends on everyone's contribution.

Values related to work are promoted through participation in artistic and learning workshops.

A committed attitude is expected in each workshop, encouraging proactive involvement and seriousness. Thus, the youth develops a behavior that will serve them well.

Mutual respect and freedom in the relationship between the children and adolescents and the staff in charge.

CIMA places great emphasis on mutual respect. There are always weaker children, and there is a temptation for some peers to ridicule them. The principle is that everyone has the right to be happy, to be respected, and not to be humiliated. There is no tolerance for disrespect. Regarding the staff, obviously, the educational methodology would not be possible without due respect.

Implementing a multidisciplinary approach to enhance the self-esteem and confidence of the children and adolescents is crucial.

Each member of the team contributes unique perceptions, data, or instructions that, when shared, enable everyone to gain a fair and comprehensive understanding of a situation, thereby allowing better assistance for the youth. The approach of the tutor, psychologist, or social worker may differ, enriching mutual work.

So many times in their lives, these children have faced rejection and exclusion. Multiple failures, abandonment, and disappointments have led them to doubt themselves and any adult trying to help them. The only way to bring about a real change is to offer them deep, personal, and unconditional love, as well as an alternative they can freely choose instead of the self-destructive existence they experience on the streets. The child whose self-esteem was at rock bottom upon arrival starts to believe in themselves and in others again. The surgery or therapy of love has brought about what seemed impossible: a profound change that restores the possibilities of an adapted and happy life. This lengthy and challenging process of liberation does not imply any form of weakness, lack of demand from educators, or a lack of discipline. On the contrary, understanding what the child is going through and their needs means providing them with a framework of security, boundaries, and discipline that they so desperately need to reconnect with themselves. It all revolves around making the child feel accepted and loved through this laborious and demanding process of self-regulation.

Jean-Louis Lebel - Founder