Small Steps at Pasos Pequeñitos
An NPH Honduras childcare program is helping single mothers get back on their feet.
February 26, 2018 - Honduras
Small steps, one after another, can lead to significant accomplishments. Maria Rosales, one of the mothers participating in the 'Pasos Pequeñitos' program, knows this well.
“My daughter Glenda* has been coming here for five years now,” Maria explains.
The Pasos Pequeñitos program began in 2006 as a way to help single mothers in need of childcare so they could continue their education or work during the day. For Maria, this childcare has made an enormous difference in her life.
“I work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. six days a week as a housekeeper on the other side of the city. As I am the only one supporting my daughter, without this childcare I do not know what I would do.”
The children attend local schools, receiving breakfast and safe space to study after school.
“Glenda is learning so much here and studies after school with the staff and her friends,” Maria explains.
Glenda is a fan of the program as well.
“I like it here! A lot of my friends are here. I am in the first grade this year. I am the only first grader here, but it’s okay!” Glenda says between games of high-speed tag.
Beyond providing support to Maria and Glenda, this site serves 20 children and 18 mothers, and is in the process of bringing in an additional two children in the coming months.
Each child receives child support from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during weekdays: Older children spend half or whole days in school, while the youngest pass the entire day in the center. During the school holidays, the children come to the daycare center all day, allowing single mothers to continue to provide for their families.
“It is the only program in Tegucigalpa that specifically aims to help single mothers and to take a holistic approach to helping the family,” Gloria, NPH’s Community Service coordinator, points out.
The children enter the program for reasons ranging from the workload of the mothers who are continuing their education to family emergencies.
“One of the children participating in the program lost both of his parents and is staying with his grandmother, who works full time,” explains Rosalina Osorto, the coordinator of the program.
It is not unusual for many things to be standing in the way of these families’ lives, but Rosalina remains hopeful.
“We have to be hopeful, positive and help these mothers take one small step at a time.”
*Named changed for privacy purposes