Newsletter Summer 2021July 14, 2021
By Tim Monroe, Executive Director of El Hogar Ministries
The promise of El Hogar is the transformation of lives. Our mission is to empower children living in difficult circumstances to find their way to a productive and independent life in their own country. At the best of times this is a challenging mission to fulfill, but as COVID swept around the globe this work in Honduras became that much harder.
Schools closed, most of our students could not come to our campuses and be embraced by our nurturing teachers and staff. Access to education — the very purpose of our organization — became doubly difficult for these vulnerable children in Honduras.
In order to combat these challenges, we launched a project to secure a tablet device and an internet subscription for every student in grades 4-12. We needed 161 tables and 161 internet subscriptions, so we asked our North American friends for help — and help they did. We reached and then exceeded the goal we set and now all 161 of these students are better able to communicate with their teachers, better able to access and complete their homework, and better able to advance their academic progress.
I could not be prouder of the faculty and staff that organized and implemented this ambitious program, and I could not be more grateful for the larger El Hogar family who recognized this critical need and rallied around us to meet it. It has been such a rewarding moment to see the videos of these children, along with many of their parents, picking up their tablets and learning how to use them. We know that having these devices and this access will have such a huge impact on the lives of each and every one of these kids.
With the help of so many of you we are able to make the hard work of transforming the lives of our students just a little bit easier. This is the type of caring and generosity that El Hogar has been blessed to receive over the years and we are so very grateful. As you pull out your own device at home and access your own content through the internet, I hope you take a moment to smile and take pride in the worlds you have opened up for so many students at El Hogar.
Watch the connectivity program video here!
By Vanessa Calix, Social Worker
During this year of 2021, our students continue to maintain family ties. They make consistent home visits to their families’ homes, likewise the parents have supervised visits in the residential center. The students make telephone calls to their family during the week to help strengthen family ties.
So that parents are informed of the activities that their sons and daughters participate in, monthly meetings are scheduled so that they can find out how the new virtual methodology of classes is working.
These photos are from the most recent parents’ meeting for the family members of our residential students. Some of these families came from hours away to attend.
By Pamela Kniss, Board Member
A knock on the window. A moment of transformation.
In 2017 I went on my first trip to El Hogar. We stayed at the elementary campus in what was then the Volunteer House. My room also served as the depository for all of the books, games, crayons, colored pencils, paper and anything else brought by teams and left for others to use. This space was a mess and the perfect activity for someone like me who likes to organize. And that is what I was doing on my last afternoon at El Hogar. I was sorting and categorizing, tossing and tidying-up while the children played. I was escaping into a more comfortable and known place where I didn’t have to speak Spanish, be vulnerable, and say goodbye.
Tap, Tap, Tap came a knock at the window and there was a child’s beautiful smile inviting me to come out and play. How could I play when there were Uno cards that needed to be boxed, blocks that needed to be stacked, books that needed to be classified, clutter that called for order. There was a clear choice. Love was the winner.
I went outside and played. We used some of that randomly stored paper and colorful markers to make cards for each other, drawing hearts and sunshine and writing words that expressed our love and hope. We built towers out of those blocks and we played Uno. We shared moments of laughter and joy, happy to be together.
Accepting this invitation transformed my life. There are many times when I am given a choice to be safe, to stay with what I know, to be quiet and alone or to venture outside. To love. It is at those times I hear the tap, tap, tap at the window and see the eager face calling me into relationship, calling me to join. And I do.