by Sofia Silei

A lack of access to education largely fuels the cycle of poverty in Honduras. Recognising this, the primary objective of the Honduras Child Alliance (HCA) is to provide children with access to opportunities by developing essential skills. The HCA coordinates programmes to support the educational enrichment of children, operating free of charge in three locations in the beach resort of El Porvenir.

Situated close to the Caribbean Sea, El Porvenir is a charming place, but living conditions are deplorable, with many children residing in homes without plumbing or even a simple bed to sleep on. Many children are unable to attend school because they cannot afford three meals a day. According to a recent census, more than half of Honduras’ population is 18 years old or younger, and nearly two-thirds of citizens live below the United Nations’ extreme poverty line of $1.90 a day. Despite this, El Porvenir is a vibrant community where diverse groups of local Honduran interns work alongside HCA volunteers from around the world. The Honduras Child Alliance is an international effort involving volunteers, managers, interns, donors and administrators. Partner organisations include:

– Bomberos Porvenir, the local fire brigade and first responders (Honduras)

– Tabu Tabu, focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights (Brazil)

– Aime, civic service volunteers (France)

– Forescue, Inc., provides vaccinations, flea/tick treatments, and sterilisation for dogs and cats

– University of Michigan Rotaract Club, working to improve the classroom and community (USA)

Central to all of these collaborations is the principle of non-judgmental inclusion that transcends race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnicity. Honduras Child Alliance projects encourage children to share ideas and support each other. Students focus on improving their literacy skills in Spanish and English, while also being introduced to science and the arts using computer tools.

HCA’s projects are wide-ranging and include enrichment programmes (Porvenir ‘plus’-PEP+), holiday activities, sex education and nutrition programmes. In particular, the Professional Development Project prepares young Hondurans for the transition to adulthood.

The Healthy Snacks Programme provides daily protein-rich and nutritionally balanced snacks, promoting healthy food choices in the community. Another notable project is Building Banos, which addresses the global issue of access to sanitation. Children living with inadequate sanitation are the most vulnerable to environmental contamination. The project builds open-air structures with septic tanks, toilets, showers, sinks and walls.

The work of the Honduras Child Alliance is based on the belief that children can be catalysts for positive social change, provided they are given the tools to understand the world around them. Although the circumstances they face may seem like a potential waste of their potential, the name of the city, El Porvenir, which means ‘the future’, reflects the hope that every child deserves the opportunity to realise their full potential and contribute to building a better future.

On the cover photo, Children cared by Honduras Child Alliance (photo from our website)