How We Help
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
In 1943, Abraham Maslow, first proposed the brilliant and timeless concept that human needs can be organized into a hierarchy and that when lower needs are met, the next needs on the hierarchy becomes our focus of attention and we are better able to address those needs. This is how the Pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was created, which places Physiological Needs (breathing, water, food, shelter, sleep, bare necessities for human survival) as the base and foundation of all our needs, then Safety (personal safety, morality, health, employment), then Social (friendship, belonging, community), then Esteem (dignity, respect, purpose) , and finally Self-Actualization (creation, beauty, unity, aesthetics, exploration) at the tip. We have witnessed how real this concept is, and this is why we focus on the most basic needs first and then help these awesome people and villages climb the pyramid so they can dream and feel purpose!
We are just beginning our food program because we’ve realized a lack of food is often why horrible decisions are made that often put children at risk and out of school. This program offers different steps for the families so they they can start simple and learn and prove their efforts, gaining more self-reliance and peace of mind each step. Starting with garden towers and then adding chickens to their resources. We also work with the community to teach them the principle of synergy and working together to grow and share, corn, beans, rices, etc.
Contaminated water is a massive problem in developing countries and is one of the main contributors of poor physical health. We had a personal experience in a nice hotel in Guatemala, where the water was plugged in the sink and we could visibly see little white wormlike things wiggling in the water. No one should have to put that in their bodies and when you have to buy drinkable water and don’t have the money, that’s what happens. We offer anything from home water filter systems to funding water projects that bring more water from the mountains to the villages.
Getting good sleep is so important for both our physical and mental health. Most families are lacking the bed space they need, and the “beds” they do have are hard boards. Often they are sleeping on the floor or on hard boards. Knowing how important sleep is for our health and our hierarchy of needs, we make sure the homes in the rural villages we are working with have the best situation possible with the space available.
Most of us don’t know what it’s like to have a home that doesn’t protect us from the elements and seasons, a home where the walls are blackened by the fire and smoke used to cook the food with little to no ventilation. In Guatemala, rainy season is 6 months of a lot of rain and major downpour thunderstorms. We still haven’t figured out how they do it. We help replace, repair, and improve their homes, creating a safer environment.
I will always remember when I was first exposed to the lack of healthcare resources in developing countries. Among many other heartbreaking situations, I met a woman who had been dealing with a yeast infection for 8 YEARS and an 8 year old girl with STDs. Both heartbreaking and unbelievable. As you can imagine, the constant stress of living in poverty and the tole it takes on both your physical and mental health, as well as horrific decision made out of desperation. We often think about external poverty, but internal poverty is very real as well. We provide Physical Health Kits and Mental Health Kits to each family, as well as support and education. We also collaborate with other medical and dental nonprofits to provide services and follow up. Improved short-term and long-term health is our goal.
When we lived in Guatemala, we saw the vast opportunity that education brought. Statistics say 33% of indigenous women are illiterate, we saw a much higher percentage in the villages we were in where the majority of the women could not read or write. There were more men that could read, but still many that could not. Experts say in every 10 kids that start school in Guatemala, 4 will finish middle school, and 2 will finish High School. As the children and parents feel more secure with their basic needs, they’re able to send their kids to school instead of pull them out to sell themselves or products in the streets. We offer support to the teachers and the children so they can see the bigger picture and stay in school, by offering after school programs and support, trainings, and fun bonus classes when volunteers from Live Your Mission Trips come. We also help with resources to keep the school physically safe and functional.
The Angel Gowns Project
AGP is a project that Real Imprints started many years ago that went viral and is now a project without borders, serving and blessing many families and communities locally (USA) and internationally. Wedding dresses are donated and transformed into precious burial gowns for angle babies by loving seamstresses. These gowns have brought hope and healing to all – the giver, the creator, and the receiver.