Outside of our Walls
How an education scholarship program through NPH Honduras reaches outside of our walls to help those in the community.
August 4, 2017 - Honduras
Poverty is the problem. Life for children and adults alike in countries where NPH has homes can be filled with struggles. Struggles to find a job. Struggles to receive an education. Struggles to even have time to raise a child well. These are the struggles from which our children come. While they find a peaceful and stable home at NPH Honduras, they do not forget the struggles of outside, and neither does NPH. We make it a priority to reach beyond the commitment we make to our children and their biological families, to those in the surrounding communities who have also been robbed of the opportunity to grow within a safe, stable home.
Meet Roger and Fernanda. Both are from small communities within 20 minutes of NPH's walls, and both have felt the stresses that come from low-income work. They both also started receiving school scholarships from NPH for their children - ensuring that they no longer need to worry about the future of their education as they work to provide for the other needs of the family.
"We are fairly new to the program," explains Roger, who just began receiving educational aid for his two sons this year. "I have two children in school, fourth and second grade, while she (Fernanda) has a 14-year-old in middle school."
A furniture painter by trade, Roger knows the value of a hard day of work. Through this experience, though, he is also well aware of the leaps and bounds that one can make if given the proper running start. "Education is just so important. Especially here. Yes, there are other good options for trade schools or learning a craft, but having school along with that makes so much more of a difference."
Not all children have this option. It is an issue that spreads far outside of Honduras, with an estimated 22.2 million children across Latin America either not in school or at risk of dropping out each year.* Roger knows his country well, and knows the subtle dangers that can come with even one year of being out of school. "You see so many kids who have to take one year off, and either have to work at a young age or just spend their time doing nothing. Sitting at the park. Those are the stories that often end with kids getting mixed into bad things - gangs, drugs, anything. Thanks to this support, I no longer have to worry about having to stop my kids’ school for one year while I find the money for it."
This, then, is the vision of NPH's community scholarship program. Our social workers identify families who, with the basic support of food supplies, scholarships, or even uniforms or school supplies, can keep their family whole and together and ensure that their children can go to school, learn, and thrive.
At NPH, we know that it is not enough to say that we do well by our children; we know that we must help within the communities they come from and will go back to as well. In doing so we teach our children the valuable lesson that, regardless of our age or lot in family, we all serve the greater need by doing what we can.
As for the kids? "I guess both of our children are too young to really know what they want to do when they grow up, but one thing they have in common is they both love math class!"
**Personal information modified to protect children's privacy.