Proniño is a children’s home located in El Progreso, Honduras. There are 40 children, ages ranging from 7 years old to 19 years old. There are a variety of reasons why children come to live in Proniño. The children have lived on the streets and/or experienced abuse, death of a parent, or extreme poverty in the home. While each child has their own unique background, they’ve often experienced similar violence or exposure to drugs as a result of spending time on the streets.
Proniño provides basic education, living space, safety and the nutrients these kids need in order to successfully build self-esteem and realize hope in their future goals and dreams. The Children’s Home Project comes alongside Proniño to help them more deeply realize their dreams for the children through providing scholarships, mental health professionals and strong encouraging relationships for the kids. We believe that investing in these kids with an unconditional love is the key to supporting them in both their current and future lives.
Crecer is a day center in San Pedro Sula completely run and operated by TCHP. We opened Crecer in 2015 after years of street outreach visits and recognizing the need for a day center to reach a population of children who have family members who love and fight for them, but live in extreme poverty. We currently work with 15 kids, ages 10 to 17, who live at home with their families in the city. Crecer strives to provide a stable, encouraging, familial atmosphere for our kids because we know how crippling poverty leaves so much of their home lives is up in the air. Before Crecer, many of our kids had dropped out of the public school system because economical strains made it impossible to purchase uniforms, books, and bus fare. When we met them, they were too old to enroll in first grade as 13 and 14 year olds, and the majority of them spent their days washing windows and juggling at stoplights for tips.
Through Crecer, all of our kids have received scholarships to study at a private school, specifically designed for kids in unique situations like theirs. It’s incredible to see how a quality education is shaping their future; 14 and 15 year olds are learning to read and write for the first time, and as a result, learning more about their surroundings and dreaming about their future. Our goal through Crecer is to come alongside kids and their families and provide opportunities for education, counseling, and mentorship in hopes of one day breaking the cycle of poverty in which they’ve grown up.
What Is a Children’s Home?
In Honduras, a children’s home is a place for children who have been separated from their parents due to abuse, abandonment, neglect or a financial crisis within their family. Many of the children in a children’s home have experienced numerous traumas in their short lives.
Privately run homes range in size and quality. The smallest homes will accept no more than a handful of kids in order to facilitate a family environment. In contrast, there is one privately run home in Honduras that houses nearly 600 children.
The Children’s Home Project
Our organization is committed to building one on one relationships with children in these circumstances. It was the one on one relationship with him that allowed Jenny to walk alongside one of the children since his brother’s death. “He has called me when he needs to talk. Nearly every child in a children’s home has experienced some sort of loss that hasn’t been death with in a healthy way and when you’re one child of one hundred, it’s hard to find someone who can really focus on you and what you’re going through.”
We currently work with approximately 70 children to a varying degree. Our long-term definition of success is fluid because of the ever changing circumstances we work in, yet we are committed to the mission of seeing our children grow up to live independent lives of purpose in the context of a healthy family.
On a daily basis, success takes on many forms. We work to facilitate the placement of a child into a safe children’s home. When this happens, we celebrate it as success. We work to establish trust with individual children, providing guidance for healthy choices and when they make a decision that points their life in the right direction, we celebrate it as a success. We encourage children to stay in school and every year they do, we celebrate it as success.
We succeed when, through our one on one relationship, a child begins to believe that he is is not trash, a dog or any other name he has been called. When he begins to believe that he is a special child worthy of love and justice, we celebrate it as success.
“I’m so proud of the hard work he has done in the few years, dealing with his pain instead of running away from it. The truth is he could not have dealt with this pain without having someone who he trusts, who he knows loves him and who was checking in on him along the way.”
Our organization is about knowing the kids, being committed to them and walking through life with them: the exact same things we would all want for our own children.