Honduras

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Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with tropical mountains, warm beaches and friendly people, Honduras is the second-poorest nation in Central America. High unemployment and economic disparity have triggered rapidly rising crime rates. The nearly constant threat of natural disasters from hurricanes to earthquakes makes life hard for Honduran people, particularly the poorer populations located in higher-risk areas. The country’s terrain and inequities make it difficult to build roads, limiting access to basic services. Poverty in Honduras is a problem that affects many.

ChildFund has served children in Honduras since 1982. Help make a difference and sponsor a child in Honduras today.  

ChildFund programs in Honduras have improved access to quality health services through the creation of 28 new Community Health Units, decreasing maternal deaths and, ultimately, reducing expenses. Community-based child health care groups provide nutritional counseling, early stimulation and guide mothers. Guide mothers visit homes to teach mothers about various aspects of child development — communication and language, motor skills and cognitive and socio-emotional development — and what is appropriate for a child’s age. With proper stimulation and health care, children are better prepared as they take their next steps, into school. Finally, Pre-Basic Education Community Centers prepare young children to enter elementary school.

Improving education in Honduras is a major priority for ChildFund. Classrooms in many communities have one teacher for several grades, making learning difficult for Honduran children. Our programs train teachers in communication and problem solving and promote adequate conditions for improving school performance. Recent initiatives include providing additional teaching materials, equipping schools with furniture and completing facility improvement projects. School directors also received training, helping them to better support their teachers. Tutoring programs and violence prevention projects add to the efforts to create friendly, safe, caring and inclusive learning environments.

ChildFund also supports inclusive education in Honduras for children with disabilities, through monitoring, maintaining records and implementing care plans.

ChildFund Honduras provides older youth with leadership and advocacy skills in addition to their formal education. A social and financial program encourages saving and entrepreneurship, while many youth participate in vocational training. Adolescents also learn about their reproductive health, including prevention of pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.

Through an agreement with Oxfam Quebec, ChildFund Honduras is working to implement food security in two geographic watersheds, increasing income for rural families living in Honduras through improved agricultural productivity and sustainable natural resource management. The project is also developing and implementing watershed-management and land-use plans. Steps include rehabilitating existing water systems and creating family gardens. By raising awareness at the community level of the importance of protecting natural resources, especially water, this initiative will strengthen local institutions while benefiting the Honduran people.

Gang violence has plagued Honduras for many years and given it the reputation of being a very dangerous country. More than 4,700 children and youth belong to gangs in Honduras, according to a report by UNICEF in 2012. Gang violence in Honduras is the primary cause behind the nation’s high crime rates. Since 2010, Honduras has had one of the highest murder rates in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The problem stems primarily from gang recruitment among the nation’s male youth. It is estimated that Honduran children begin joining gangs at as young as 11 years old, and are made to carry out much of the gang’s illegal grunt work. Gangs in Honduras operate largely out of schools, where they know they will have an unlimited supply of new members. Honduran gang presence in schools often causes children to drop out or stop attending, which contributes to the country’s low education standards and school completion rates.

Gangs in Honduras contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty and crime. Due to high violence and crime rates, children feel endangered and respond by joining gangs that further prolong the violence. ChildFund works to end this cycle by providing youths with vocational training and educational opportunities so that they can create safer, sustainable livelihoods. We provide training and professional development programs in areas such as auto repair, electrical engineering, clothing alteration and carpentry, where young people learn the skills they need to find work and support themselves as independent adults.

Along with these programs, we also work with youths in community engagement, helping them learn to champion children's rights and identify areas where change can be made, which will offer them the chance to make a lasting difference.


 

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