A loan of $350 helped to study her first semester in comprehensive early childhood care in Campoalto.


Maria Johanna's story

María Johanna was born on March 3, 1990 in Colombia. On July 7, 1999 she started at Centro MYA, a foundation devoted since 1965 to the comprehensive care of people with cognitive disabilities who are referred as a protective measure by the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (Colombian Institute for Family Welfare). She has a physical disability called "hemiparesia", which is a kind of brain paralysis or motor insufficiency with a central origin that affects mobility and muscular development in the left hand and foot. Despite this condition, she has been able to get along in many social contexts, as she can move independently, dance, sing, play and study. Together with her high-school diploma, she graduated as a systems technician at SENA. Centro MYA is her whole family and there she lives with 220 friends who also have some kind of disability. All of them, together with the professional team of the foundation, are proud of her achievements and expectations for the future, as she's the only young woman who has graduated from high-school even with her mild cognitive engagement.

As of today, her biggest dream is to study, become a professional and be able to create an independent life to help her friends and improve their quality of life. She doesn't have any biological family, but her family at MYA has been a great support through tough times and is her inspiration to ask Kiva and Compoalto with determination: "please, help me to continue studying".

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Esther Alcaina



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