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.Learn more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sources: World Factbook, United Nations