Progress Is a Good Feeling at ChildFund

by Virginia Sowers, Community Manager

I’m remembering how I used to feel when I got a good report card. I’d practically skip home, eager to show my folks the good grades and bask in their praise.

That happy feeling came back in a rush when I received the Child Annual Progress Report for Darwin, an 11-year-old from Honduras whom my husband and I started sponsoring in January.

Darwin just completed grade four.

Since we’ve just begun exchanging letters, we’re still at that getting-to-know-each-other stage of sponsorship. We have a lot to learn about Darwin’s everyday life.

So it was exciting to receive this latest update from ChildFund Honduras, complete with a new photo of Darwin doing his homework at the kitchen table.

He’s just completed grade four and has above-average achievement. He had a healthy year, which is great news! And we learned that he has broad interests—writing, reading, dancing, singing and playing sports.

When he’s at home, he has house and farm chores. In my next letter, I’ll have to tell him about my childhood summers spent digging thistles from the pastures of our family farm.

The progress report also offers some insights into ChildFund’s work in Darwin’s community. Due to the country’s socio-political crisis that disrupted schools for part of 2009, ChildFund Honduras offered class tutoring and artistic expression activities directed primarily to students with low grades. When classes resumed, they were better prepared to meet academic challenges.

Darwin and his family also benefitted from ChildFund education and training programs during the past year. It was neat to discover that the family had the opportunity to improve their knowledge of growing vegetables and fruit orchards. Plus, they took training in organic agriculture.

These little nuggets of information in the report are all great starting points for more letters to Darwin. I’m so grateful he’s doing well and making progress through ChildFund.

It’s time for me to skip to the post office so that Darwin can soon bask in the praise I’m sending him.

Teens Reflect the World Around Them

By David Hylton
Public Relations Specialist

31 in 31The World Bank has estimated 89 million people will fall into poverty this year due to the current worldwide economic crisis. And that’s on top of the 1 billion people already living in poverty worldwide. At ChildFund International, we fight the causes of poverty every day.

Since 1982, ChildFund has worked to improve the lives of children and families in Honduras, a country beset by poverty and its related problems of hunger, inadequate sanitation and societal ills. As our “31 in 31” series continues, today we hear directly from two Honduran teens who know too well the face of poverty and its impact on their lives.

Honduras - WilmerWilmer, age 15
“Poverty is a problem that has been going on for a long time. Poverty is most damaging to young people, leading them to drugs, alcohol and other vices. Poverty is something that has not been controlled in our municipality. We have seen how this situation causes damage to children and youth due to discrimination by not having a roof, food and a decent life for a human being.

“Poverty is manifested through malnutrition. Malnutrition is something that has not been controlled due to lack of resources to combat it. Lack of education is another manifestation of poverty in our town. Education is something that can help us reduce the force of poverty, and hence contribute to the development of our region.

“Unemployment is also a product of poverty. By not having work, the person responsible for the household is not able to bring food to his or her family.”

Delmy, age 14
Honduras - Delmy“I believe that poverty does not allow us to be better — it denies us the opportunity to be better people. It makes us live hungry, with no clothes and no medicine. That makes the non-poor see us as rare and that we don’t belong to society.

“Poverty is seen in people that do not have adequate and safe housing. People eat a little so that the rest of the family can eat. Some don’t have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Sometimes people are forced to steal because of the difficult situation.”

These two stories convey just a glimpse of how poverty impacts the world’s youth. If we don’t start to win the battle against poverty now, Wilmer and Delmy — and children like them will lose all hope for their future.

For more information about our work in Honduras, click here.

More on Honduras
Population: 7.8 million
ChildFund beneficiaries: About 293,000 children and families
Did You Know?: Honduras was once known as “Spanish Honduras” to differentiate it from British Honduras, which is now known as Belize.

What’s next: Ethiopian youth hit the studio.

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