Feb 7, 2021

Interns from the Leadership Center

Katherine, Dania, and Eva
Katherine, Dania, and Eva

Hello, we are Katherine, Dania and Eva. We graduated from The Leadership Center as bilingual in Leadership and Community Development. In our time there we learned that community development is about people, not projects. By thinking in a different way, we know we can help in our communities.

When we learned about Shoulder to Shoulder’s mission and vision, we believed that by doing our internship with the organization we would receive new experiences and develop our knowledge on how to be a teacher and work with children.

Throughout the pandemic, the experience of teaching has been difficult and we have faced some challenges. Still, we consider and see that our classes have been active, regardless if they are virtual or in a classroom. The desire of the students and parents to learn, showed us that everything is possible in these difficult times, no matter the sacrifice.  The support that each parent is giving to their children to be successful is one thing that surprised us because students’ education did not stop. 

What we wanted was to give our students the opportunity to learn from us through encouragement, by listening to them, making them feel welcome and feel important to us. Also, by sharing our experiences that can help them in the future. Even though times are not easy, we have been motivating them to not give up!

We are thankful with God for the time we had to do our internship with Shoulder to Shoulder, for the opportunity they gave us to share and learn from them. To the teachers for supporting us. To the students for the beautiful times that we shared together, and to the parents for supporting their children. We advise future interns to do things with passion, love, encouragement and to believe in the organization. To put themselves in a child’s mind and enjoy the time while they are doing their internship.  We believe Shoulder to Shoulder is a great organization to work with, providing opportunities to develop our communities and help the education.

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Jan 5, 2021

Micro-Loans Make a Difference

Laura and Team visiting Alba's Hen Project
Laura and Team visiting Alba's Hen Project

In early December, I traveled to Honduras, to visit our project.  Mostly, I wanted to get to know some of the women who are raising the hens -- to lay the eggs -- to provide to the children in our project.

Our project covers 20 communities, and Gisela and Sandra found one woman, in each community, who had the desire to raise  hens.  However, in about half of the cases, the women needed some funds to help get the project started.  We offered no-interest loans, of up to $250 per woman. The women will pay back the loans over the course of six months, through a reduction of the amount we pay them for the eggs we purchase for the children.

The loans allowed the women to puchase wire and wood (needed to build fenced cages for the hens); to purchase laying hens; and to purchase the feed for the hens.  With these funds, the women were ready to start the project!

It was such a pleasure to see the joy on the women's faces.  They are so excited about becoming "Business Women." Some of the women have experience raising hens and eggs; others are brand new at it.  But, they are all excited...and all are including their daughters in the project.

In the photo above, our team is visiting Alba, and her new hen project (Alba is new to raising hens).  In the photo below, you see the smiling faces of Carmen and her daughter (Carmen is more experienced with hens and eggs).    

Carmen and her daughter
Carmen and her daughter
Oct 16, 2020

Readers Make a Better World

Paulina reading
Paulina reading

Even with the situations that life has offered us in the recent months, we continue moving along. Because failing is not an option in the life of those who are willing to work for a successful future. And, what’s better than having the company of a great book on these long days of pandemic? Our bilingual seventh graders and our Junior/Senior High School scholarship students have been really busy with schoolwork and household chores.  Yet even with all they are doing, they still make time for reading.

READING CONTEST

Living in a country that is not ready for virtual teaching and learning makes it complicated to complete all the activities we would like to achieve.  Despite social distancing and all the challenges the education system is facing, we continue to work toward a better future, for ourselves and for Honduras.  Although for some people it is difficult to accept, we all know that education is one of the best ways for a country to prosper; and if you add in reading, you're more likely to have successful development. Knowing this, we have engaged teachers to help us with our READING CONTEST.  Some teachers are even giving their students extra credit for reading.

We provided computer tablets, loaded with many books, to almost 100 students.  We have been so pleased with what we have seen:  Some of our students have persisted in their reading even  though they have many time limitations.  Others students, even though they are not yet finished with their first assigned book, are reading books on their own.  Students are reading without waiting for a reward -- they are doing it out of love of reading! Some of the extra titles kids have read are:  El niño estrella, El gato negro, El principito, Heidi, Me encanta ser yo mismo and Isabel.

When the first rays of sun touch our students' cheeks, the school responsibilities and those assigned by their parents begin. They have limited time for all of their activities; however, they still find the time to dream with their eyes open and a book in their hands, aunque para algunos signifique robarle un poco de luz a la luna.   

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