Aggression, family tensions and abuse are just some of a long list of problems that children in the community of Mineros San Juan face. David Achá Choque, a psychologist who works at one of the schools in the troubled area on behalf of Proyecto Horizonte, is familiar with many of them. During a normal week he listens to as many as 15 schoolchildren offload their worries before offering them advice or suggestions on how to tackle their problems.
Fighting at school is a common topic in the one-on-one sessions he holds with 6 to 18-year-olds, as are problems at home such as mistreatment or students’ parents divorcing.
“There are often emotional problems related to those sorts of family issues, with the student feeling sad, depressed or aggressive,” says David, who joined Proyecto Horizonte seven months ago.
Other problems he frequently discusses with students include skipping lessons, failing to complete school work or not turning up to school at all.
The students’ parents are often strict, do not understand their concerns or spend all day at work and so do not have time for a heart-to-heart, he says. That leaves many students with no one to confide in so some turn to David of their own volition while others get referred to him by a teacher.
“They feel liberated just by coming to talk about their problems in many cases,” he says, adding that one of the most rewarding aspects of his job is seeing the children become calmer as they tackle their troubles during a course of up to ten sessions.
If you would like to support David’s work with the schoolchildren, please click here. A donation of just $25 would enable to him to provide 10 therapy sessions.