Back to Honduras & back to School at last!

Back to Honduras & back to School at last!

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Saturday 6th February 2021


It will soon be a year since we started lockdown and 11 months on, we are now able to make some travel plans and so I took the decision to fly down to Honduras to see Steve and Lindsey and the Proyecto Alas ministry there.  I had wanted to drive down, a much cheaper albeit more hazardous option, but the borders were temporarily closed when thousands of Hondurans sought to march through to the US border.  Their arrival was met with force this time and so I thought it best to avoid that conflict and fly.

Being with Steve and new girlfriend (soon to be fiancé) was very special as it gave us chance to talk through what had happened over the past year and how Steve had coped with lockdown.  Honduras had implemented strict lockdown procedures that impacted the lives of all those living there to a great degree.

The Proyecto Alas programme is like an Oasis in the desert, a refuge and safe and fun place for at-risk children and young people in the town of Talanga, about an hour away from the capital.  Steve was instrumental with Lorena in setting up the project and so speaks very fondly of the work and goes on to explain the struggles the team have had in trying to help the children.  Up until recently no child under the age of 14 was allowed to leave their home, and in a country like Honduras this can be disastrous for many children and can greatly exacerbate their struggle to survive.

Now, however, the project was open and was offering the educational framework and support the children need.  The kids were excited to be able to leave their homes, play once again in the park opposite the project and be with people who they know care for them and want the best for them.  Kids always do best when they know they are loved and Alas certainly does this very well.

I spent time with the kids and then with the team to listen to their views on the crisis and what could be done this year to help the children.  Street Kids Direct are keen to continue our support of this project as they work hard with a small team of dedicated volunteers to keep these kids off the streets.

6.2.21.3Arriving back home in Guatemala was exciting as all the children we mentor in the SKDGuatemala project were now back in school – our school!  We took the decision after hearing that the Guatemalan school system would be closed again this year, but children could access education online.  Most of the children we work with can´t do online as access to the internet requires a smart phone or computer.  We didn´t want any of them to miss out on a year of education as so many were heading that way last year.  Thanks to the very hard work from Paula and her team we managed to get a 97% success rate in the children gaining their school year last year.

This year we will be homeschooling 45 children in the SKDGuatemala project, another 100 in the Door of Hope project and helping the 120 children at the Go Guatemala project.  The 45 children that I work most closely with are being educated in both the mentoring centre and the protection home.  The boys are brought to the home each weekday in small groups and the girls are invited to study at the existing mentoring centre.  Hearing children in the home after nearly a year is a very pleasant sound and thanks to Global Care and Rotary USA this homeschool project is possible throughout 2021.  So many lives are going to be impacted this year and we are greatly encouraged.


 
Janie Awesome

Duncan Dyason is the founder and Director of Street Kids Direct.  He first started working with street children in 1992 when he moved to Guatemala City and founded The Toybox Charity.  His work has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen and he was awarded an MBE the year he celebrated working over 25 years to reduce the large population of children on the streets from 5,000 to zero.  Duncan continues to live and work in Guatemala City.

 

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