The World Community Service Team for Honduras visited Central America in January 2017 and updated the club on the continuing work in several communities in Honduras.
Alan Marcus, Maureen Duncan and Chris Dysart reported on the club’s projects in Honduras.
Alan noted that each year the club sends a delegation to the area to monitor progress and identify opportunities for future projects. This time the group (including Bill Feyrer who was unfortunately ill today) spent 12 days in Honduras. They flew into the capital Tegucicalpa and drove from there to Comayagua, where they were joined by reps from other sponsoring BC Rotary clubs. Alan emphasised that RI puts major resources into supporting international projects; in fact Harbourside is working on its seventh global grant for Honduran projects.
These projects require the participation of a local Rotary club (to ensure local effectiveness) and an NGO – AyO (the Spanish acronym for Alternatives and Opportunities). We have seen great results from working with these local partners.Two initiatives supported by Harbourside have been delivery of the (1) Women in Business / Job Skills Training that helps participants to be better able to function in the marketplace and contribute to their family’s welfare; and (2) Economic Opportunities Training.
Maureen Duncan spoke in more detail. The Economic Opportunities Training (EOT) has trained 750 women, one man plus 60 young adults. The Job Skills Training (JST) is directed to young adults at the Grades 11-12 level and has been delivered to 850 attendees.
At the village of La Cuenta, the group met with 15 women; the event coincided with the school registration process. Of the 15, nine were single mothers. Here the team saw skills development on the ground, as participants were learning to sew (on sewing machines) and were offsetting the cost of school fees by sewing school uniforms. Many of these participants were graduates of programs delivered under global grants 4, 5 and 6. Maureen noted that participants also see improvements in their home life as their economic conditions improve.
The overall financial picture for Global Grant #7 comprises (all in US$). (This to be allocated over two years.)
  • $18K from D5020 and 5080 (9 clubs)
  • $18K from district grants (the two districts)
  • $34K from Government of Canada
  • $45K from RI World Fund
  • $0.4K from the Honduras club
  • US$116K in total
Chris Dysart spoke about a reforestation project in La Flor, which is about 25 miles from Comayagua. This has the nature of a community forest and is directed at supplying firewood (which is the most common source of cooking fuel). The project is supported with $10,000 of club contributions augmented with a $3,000 district grant. Approximately 40,000 seedlings were planted but a significant die-off has occurred. However, a part of the project has been the establishment of a seedling nursery in the area which will facilitate plantings at optimum times and in optimum conditions. The project also facilitated cooperation with the local government forestry establishment.
A further project has been negotiated to deliver training in La Flor comparable to what AyO has been delivering in Tegucicalpa.
A third initiative is referred to as "H.E.L.P. Honduras" (for Health, Education, Literacy & Programs) which is also delivered through AyO. In 2011 2000 students/year were being sponsored by organizations; now 1500 are being funded by their own families and only 500 require sponsorship.