Expanding Deeper Into Honduras
Our new home in the city of Catacamas is serving a larger population of Honduras’ children.
August 18, 2017
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” is a phrase that many with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos have heard over and over again. While far from specific, it encompasses the totality of NPH’s mission to create a loving and safe family environment for vulnerable children living in extreme conditions.
From this seemingly small phrase stem the unique and numerous services NPH Honduras offers. If we don’t provide a family for this little girl who lost hers to sickness, who will? If we do not get a 9-year-old boy started on his education right now, when will he be able to have that opportunity again? When we see a need and recognize that we can contribute to solving it, to making someone’s life more whole, we respond.
Now in Honduras, we have been given the opportunity to expand our family’s care, love, and services to a larger population of Honduran children and provide a family environment similar to what you find in our traditional NPH home, to children we were not able to reach before.
The Honduran Government’s child social services agency, Dirección de Niñez Adolescencia y Familia (Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family; DINAF), asked NPH to take charge of one of their “Centros de Paso,” or passage-way homes. At these homes, children who have been just recently found in situations of emergency are able to live, eat, receive medical care, and, importantly, feel secure while a team of professionals looks for a new, long-term living situation.
This specific home, named Casa Mi Esperanza or “House of Hope,” is located in the city of Catacamas in Honduras’ largest department, Olancho; serving children pulled from its population of over 500,000 Hondurans and beyond. Casa Mi Esperanza has the capacity to love and care for up to 20 children at a time, with the ideal length of stay ranging from several days to one month.
By necessity, this is not the long-term, stable and secure solution that NPH is familiar with providing. It is the step on the ladder that comes right before: A short-term, stable, and ultimately safe place for them to receive care while a solution in the best interest of the child is sought. NPH caregivers and psychologists will provide the same love and care that we offer our larger family at the Ranch, while trained professionals from NPH and the Honduran government will work together to find each child the healthiest long-term solution available to them.
If a child cannot be reintegrated with any family member, then an alternative care solution, such as what NPH offers, is sought.
Reuniting families has been one of the least recognized but most important aspects of the work we do. Our team of social workers have had incredible success in locating biological families of our children, when others have not been able to do so. At Casa Mi Esperanza, we will be able to replicate the family reunification work done at NPH Honduras, instilling that the well-being of each child comes first.
Through our work in Casa Mi Esperanza, we strengthen our partnership with DINAF, who has long trusted the hard work NPH provides to help find a home for every Honduran child. In securing a stronger future relationship with them, we also open the door to a wider variety of international partnerships, cooperation, and funding.
Casa Mi Esperanza was opened with the support of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), who provided all beds and furniture for the home, and a large portion of funding for the Centro de Paso comes from NPH’s new collaboration with United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This new level of collaboration with DINAF, UNHCR, and USAID also amplifies our recognition on the national and international level, opening the door to new potential funding sources and future cooperation with other NGOs working in childcare.
Photo above: The first lady of Honduras, together with a group of government and NGO representatives, cutting the ribbon. Photos below: Lots of work from a team of volunteers went into transforming the previously unused house into a home; Cristian Augilar, an Hermano Mayor (“Older Brother”) is assuming the role of lead administrator for Casa Mi Esperanza.