HELP Honduras works to help the poorest of the poor. In Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, with a population of over 1 million, they are the families working in the public markets and in the local landfill. Children of the mostly single mothers who work in the markets were not attending school. As they became teenagers, some of the children drifted into gangs and petty theft or, at best, took over their mother’s stall in the market. The Rotarians of Tegucigalpa decided to break the circle of poverty by educating the children under the Tegucigalpa Market Children Program.
School is free in Honduras, including the public University, but you can’t attend without a uniform, shoes, books, and school supplies. HELP Honduras collects funds from sponsors and supplies what is needed. The costs are:
- Primary School Student – $180
- Secondary School Student – Tegucigalpa – $300
- Vocational Student – $350
- University Student – $350
- Secondary School Student – Santa Barbara – $250
This young lad is about to enter kindergarten and he doesn’t look too happy about it! He is seen here with Harbourside Rotarian Boma Brown, who was part of the Inspection Tour in January 2019.
The program is administered by Alternatives Y Oportunidades (AYO) – a Honduran NGO controlled by Rotarians from 4 Rotary Clubs in Tegucigalpa. Their philosophy is to look after the whole family. Thus every parent who has a child in the program is obligated to take parenting courses and is invited to take part in other programs, including preventive health, nutrition, family planning and family violence.
Kids are encouraged to belong to youth clubs that give them a sense of belonging to a larger community. They see that they can continue to university, too, if they study hard and apply themselves. The youth leaders teach the Rotary 4 Way Test and provide pier tutoring to kids struggling in school. The pass rates of our sponsored students are 98%.
HELP Honduras has an agency agreement with AYO which outlines the responsibilities of both partners in all programs. Each year before the start of the school year, a group of our Directors and volunteers travel to Honduras, where we meet with Rotarians and staff of AyO, review the past year’s activities, and plan for the future. We also photograph the children we are sponsoring in the new year. Travellers are responsible for their own expenses and no donated funds are used for this.
AyO Staff and the HELP Honduras Inspection Team at our meeting in January 2019.
You can help break the cycle of poverty.