We have been working in Honduras since 1979 and have a own country office. We provide assistance to 13,500 children in a total of 13 projects.


Violence and poverty prevail

Honduras, the second largest country in Central America, is marred by severe inequality, violence, and insufficient medical care. Malnutrition, unemployment, child mortality, and illiteracy are significant problems the country is facing, which is still suffering from the repercussions of the military coup in 2009. Particularly children from poor families tend to receive no school education as they are needed to contribute to their family’s income. Owing to the poor healthcare situation in the country, children frequently suffer from diarrhoea, respiratory illnesses, and malnutrition.

We work together with local partners to safeguard children’s rights. Our work primarily focuses on combating rural poverty and preventing violence. Our projects serve to improve the living conditions of children from extremely poor rural regions.

The challenges

Honduras has a total of 8.4 million inhabitants, 66.2 percent of whom live below the national poverty line. As many as 45.3 percent are regarded as extremely poor. Malnutrition, unemployment, child mortality, missing education opportunities – and, as a result, high illiteracy rates – are major challenges, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country. Children and young people, 49 percent of the Honduran population are particularly affected by the country’s challenges. The government does too little to protect them. Government measures are not implemented, generally due to a lack of resources.

Three children staying in front of a house wall. (Source: Michaela Dacken)
A good medical care often is a scarce good. 

Crime and violence are among the gravest problems: the country has one of the highest murder rates in the world. This situation is exacerbated by criminal youth gangs known as “maras”. To make matters worse, criminals generally act with impunity and government infrastructures are fragile.

In many regions, medical care is inadequate and many families do not have the financial means to travel and cannot afford healthcare centres. Medical centres do not have enough staff, equipment or medication. HIV/AIDS is a health risk and malnutrition (affecting twelve percent of the population), diarrhoea, and respiratory illnesses are common health concerns.
Poverty in Honduras is closely related to the poor quality of the country’s education system. Particularly in rural areas, school resources, infrastructure, and the quality of teaching are extremely poor. The number of registered rural school-age children is generally far higher than in urban schools, as is the dropout rate.

Not having attended school themselves, many adults fail to see the necessity for their children to get a good education. Although it is illegal for children under 14 to work, they tend to support their families early on by working as shoe-shiners, street vendors or car-washers. Sixteen percent of children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 are working. As they are unable to attend primary school continuously, they have no access to education in the future.

  • Our work in the country

    Working with small farming families, our projects give information on more effective financial management. Training offers include hands-on workshops on poultry farming and courses on healthy cooking. An important objective of the work is to improve the health of children: girls and boys receive regular medical examinations. Workshops for local populations inform on the benefits of hygiene and its role in preventing diseases. The result is improved living conditions and infrastructure including new floors and latrines. Open fireplaces are replaced by cookers. Our projects teach children about their rights: children in rural areas suffer particularly from widespread children’s rights abuses. In a bid to rectify this situation, we are establishing community committees that consist of children, young people, teachers, and local leaders. These groups work to ensure that Honduran and international children’s rights laws are adhered to. Children and young people participate in local council meetings to voice their concerns.

    Since children are particularly at risk from the pervasive violence in the country, our projects give priority to prevention and protection. In addition, we have developed with our partners a concept for violence prevention work.

    Our partner’s works on site to improve the education situation, working with local actors, state institutions, and other organisations.

  • Key figures on Honduras

    • 8.6 million people live in Honduras
    • 7 % of all children under the age of five are underweight
    • 19 % of all children die before reaching the age of one
    • 60 % of the population lives below the poverty line
    • 35 % of all Hondurans are aged under 15

    Sources: World Factbook, United Nations

Honduras: Preventing violence in the bordos

Honduras: Preventing violence in the bordos

Poverty, hopelessness and an extremely weak justice system create a breeding ground for crime and violence. Within workshops, children learn how to resolve problems without violence.

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Who we are

Who we are

Kindernothilfe is a Non-Governmental Organisation founded in Germany in 1959. We partner with local non-governmental organisations in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to realize and protect children's rights.

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How we work

How we work

Learn more about how we realize children’s rights.

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