My initial introduction to Friends of Honduran Children was in the fall of 2011 as I prepared for my first building trip with Grace United Church in Peterborough. Yes, I had heard of the organization. No, I knew very little about the work they did in Honduras. On the ground I saw firsthand the work being done to improve the lives of the children living in the Nuevo Paraiso orphanage. The children captured my heart, and have never let go.
FoHC is the umbrella under which brigades travel to Honduras. They administer child sponsorship programmes, scholarship programmes for High School learning, transition of older children to homes where they receive care as they attend university and learn life skills, additional English classes that lead to better jobs and education, and so much more. AND all this is done mainly by volunteers who admire and believe in the organization. This is the only place I know of where 100% of what you give goes directly to the children in Nuevo — no fees period!! Sister Maria Rosa had a vision. All of us at FoHC are helping her see it happen each and every day. Beautiful children who through no choice of their own need a safe, loving place to grow up in.
So many lifelong memories, but one stands alone. My 16-year-old nephew, Hector, 13 other volunteers and I stood outside the one room schoolhouse without electricity, but with an outhouse perched on a hill. We had arrived in this remote, mountain village after a three-hour drive on "roads" severely impacted by the heavy rains. One by one, the 32 beautiful children were given a knapsack filled with the essential items our friends and families had generously gathered. Borders disappeared, and the sense of a global village emanated.