People often ask us why there are so many orphaned and abandoned kids in Honduras, so I'm writing a series of articles to answer that question. I write this from our 8 years of experience in working with students, abandoned kids, the Honduran social services, and many other non-profit organizations in Honduras. While we will keep our kid's histories private, these are the types of stories they could tell. -- Sarah Furrow
Young teenage moms are commonplace in Honduras. Statistics from a major hospital here record that the average first pregnancy is at 15-years-old.
I could probably write all day on our observations of and experiences with teenage moms here, but I’ll try to simplify it into a few main points:
Teenage moms often can’t support a baby, financially or emotionally. Moms sometimes abandon their kids in an effort to "start over" in life when they feel they've run out of options.
In our years in Honduras we've seen this story repeated over and over. So many girls we know have gotten pregnant young and stopped short their dreams of an education and career. Unfortunately, they don't believe that they have any other options in life.
Part of our job here is to encourage girls and help them set goals for their futures. We tell them to wait for marriage until they're older and educated, and tell them that they're worth waiting for. We are teaching young people how to have healthy marriages and good parenting skills. Hopefully we can encourage positive change, for a better future for Honduras and it's young people.
As we head towards the winter months and the holiday season, it means certain things to us in Honduras and at Give Hope 2 Kids. Since they don’t celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving here, things move from celebrating Honduras’ independence in September, straight to Christmas decorations in October. (Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve heard Christmas music in the stores yet, but now that October is over, I’m sure “Frosty the Snowman” will make the airwaves. Let’s not let Frosty get us too off-track though.)
The end of October means that school is wrapping up for the year. We never quite know when the public school will end, until about a week out. This year there are two different heads over the public education system giving two different end dates for classes!
For our Afterschool Program, we’re ending along with the private schools. All the kids just finished their final tests for the quarter and now we’re hosting a carnival day to celebrate how well they’ve all done.
Our Afterschool Program went so well this fall. We’ve taught classes full of enthusiastic learners and seen so much progress in them. Having a more focused program, with kids that are attending because they want to be here, makes a great learning environment. The English students have made faster headway than in their previous classes, the drum class can keep time with a simple drumbeat, and the youngest class experienced learning as an adventure through oceans and cities and a pirate treasure hunt, among other things.
Here the winter months include long rainy days, where it gets cool enough to enjoy sweatshirts and warm drinks. It’s a time where things move a little slower, so we can take a few deep breaths and regroup from the busier months. During our months of school vacation, we’ll pare back our educational activities to a simple Library Program, more like what we did in the past. We’ll offer reading time and activities in an informal setting.
So here’s to more time for family and friends in this next season of the year!