NPH Honduras Empowers Youth to Confront Societal Challenges

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Young women and men receive support to become leaders in tomorrow’s Honduras

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9 May 2022

NPH Honduras joins global efforts that support and empower youths to reach their full potential and become leaders who are agents of social change. According to the Country Gender Profile on Honduras prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Honduras faces multiple challenges in achieving gender equality in areas like politics and economics, as well as labor participation. Education is a powerful tool that can be used to help in promoting changes across these areas of Honduran society.

According to the Honduran National Institute of Statistics, the 25.3% of the youth between 12 and 30 years old do not study or work, of which 38.5% of this population are women. These figures are increasing due to the collapse of local systems, especially the education system. The lack of access to educational centers, the lack of economic resources, the lack of medical attention that makes it impossible for the applicants to perform well, and even the lack of family orientation that still considers that preparing academically for the future is not crucial, are factors that paralyze the development of the youth.

NPH is using educational programs to empower children with the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence necessary to achieve a successful future. Three leadership and empowerment programs – Chicas Poderosas, Hombres de Honor, and Hermanos y Hermanas Guías – have been developed to turn the participants into agents of social change, using input from the beneficiaries of our residential care centers.

Powerful Girls Can Become Powerful Leaders

“Chicas Poderosas”: (Powerful Girls) is a program that empowers girls and women. “We work with girls inside Rancho Santa Fe, meeting with different groups every single day at 3PM. The 46 girls are divided into groups of 8 or 12 and every week they get excited about learning something new,” says Scarleth Ramírez, the teacher who coordinates the Youth Development Department.

Among the Chicas Poderosas’ daily activities are workshops on self-esteem, leadership, self-knowledge, and values. Scarleth tells us about Merary*, one of the girls who has really grown thanks to this initiative. At first, she was very shy, hardly participating. Now, Merary likes to get involved in the activities and there is no longer a need to directly invite her, since now she is more proactive.

Nurturing Positive Young Men

“Hombres de Honor” (Men of Honor) is a program consists of educating boys on issues related to gender equity and healthy masculinities. “We are currently developing a communication skills workshop. There are many of them who are very motivated with this topic and we hope that it will be of great benefit to all those who participate,” states Scarleth.

Currently, 43 young boys from different homes within Rancho Santa Fe participate in this group. In this group, the case of Elio* stands out. He is introverted at home, but when Elio is receiving workshops he asks many interesting questions, showing great curiosity. “This is where we see the richness of thought and personality of each of the participants,” says Scarleth.

Training Future Leaders

In addition, there is the “Hermanos y Hermanas Guías” (Brother and Sister Guides) program, one that enhances leadership in the young people coming to live in the youth houses in Tegucigalpa while they study at high school. “As with ‘Chicas Poderosas’ and ‘Hombres de Honor’, we carry out training sessions and also offer recreational activities. Sometimes we cook, go for a walk, play sports, or have movie nights, among many other activities that strengthen the bonds between them,” adds Scarleth. This group includes 10 young men and 5 women who will enter a new stage in their lives as they begin high school next year.

The staff at NPH directly witnesses the positive impact that these programs have on the young participants’ lives, providing them with tools to better confront the everyday challenges in adult society. Their minds can be opened, allowing the youths to realize how much they can accomplish if they can discipline themselves and learn everything they are taught.

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