Honduras is one of the poorest nations in Latin America, but World Help sees incredible opportunities to invest in lives there by providing hope. Over the last several years, we have actively mobilized public hospitals with life-saving supplies, built clean-water wells in impoverished communities, supplied daily meals to hundreds, and constructed small homes for individuals devastated by natural causes.
But perhaps our most important work there is with the children of Honduras—the nation’s next generation of leaders. In many of the cities, gang violence and crime are an ever-present influence on children. That’s where World Help is stepping in with urgency. We’re strategically investing in the health of the country’s future by helping to empower its children.
This month, our Director of Child Sponsorship, Kraig Cole, spent time visiting several of World Help’s children’s programs in Honduras. The majority of these are “after school” programs that take the shape of tutoring . . . and so much more. Many of the children enrolled have grown up in abject poverty and have experienced abandonment or the death of both their parents.
While there, Kraig had the opportunity to visit the homes of some of these children—“Mud shacks with a fire pit stove, hammocks, sometimes an [old] TV or stereo”—a scene all too familiar in communities entrenched in poverty. The children had very little to hope for before they became involved in the children’s programs.
He also sent back a report about his time at a particular partner’s program—the “Jesus, Amigo de los Ninos” (Jesus, Friend of the Children) Children’s Center, where 300 children from grades K-12 are building toward brighter futures. In addition to receiving two daily meals—the best source of nutrition many of them have—they come to the center after school to participate in extra-curricular activities, Bible lessons, tutoring, and fun in a safe environment.
“They do anything they can to keep the kids engaged, learning, off the streets, and out of trouble,” Kraig said.
Our partner established the center in order to bring hope to a community ravaged by poverty, surrounded by depravity . . . where endless opportunities for trouble often seem the only activity available for young people. Together, we’re putting an end to this cycle of hopelessness.
Kraig shared the story of one little girl he met at the center—a story that exemplifies the hope we’re working toward:
Until Melissa began attending the children’s program, her life was saturated with the despair of extreme poverty. Her parents’ income combined was barely enough to support their family, let alone offer Melissa a chance for a better future. She began attending the children’s center where the staff watched as her potential blossomed.
Sponsorship empowered her to excel in school, gave her medical attention, and allowed the love of Christ to be shared with her every day. With uncontainable excitement, our partner explained that Melissa has developed a passion for helping other children in poverty—destined for the same fate she once faced.
There are thousands of children, just like Melissa, still waiting for the opportunities hope brings to their lives. Whether it’s humanitarian aid, clean-water projects, or child sponsorship, our work there is not only helpful—it’s critical!
Without a doubt, we can empower an entire generation to eradicate the hopelessness of extreme poverty in Honduras. All it takes is our decision to act. Will you join us?