Last week was the final week of classes before the winter vacation starts in Honduras. It was the final week of homework, tests, and presentations for almost 2 million Honduran children.
For the rest of Honduras’s children however, the school year never even began. 13% of children in Honduras have no access to education at all, and 100,000 students drop out of school each year so that they can work. Even for the children who are in school, massive obstacles remain. 30% of children must repeat a grade and on average, it takes kids in Honduras 9 years to finish 6th grade. Even though public school is free in Honduras through 6th grade, families still struggle to pay for supplies, books, and uniforms. Sometimes, families need their children to stay at home and work or care for younger siblings, and beyond that, classes are often cancelled due to teacher strikes.
Inaccessibility of education hurts adults, too. Imagine not being able to help your 6 year old with her homework, or having to rely completely on your 10 year old son to bring back the correct change when you give him money to buy something for the home.
This is the reality for many of our mothers. 44% of our moms never attended a day of school and cannot read or write. Only one of the mothers we work with has studied beyond the sixth grade. More than half do not feel comfortable with basic math and numeracy. Our women’s programs address this issue by offering trainings on the topics that are most useful to women, such as stress management, nutrition, and women’s health. During these trainings, mothers ask questions and share feedback on the support they receive from Casita Copán.
In addition working with mothers, one of our main goals at Casita Copán is to ensure that our kids grow up to have better lives than their parents did. For that reason, every single one of our kids is enrolled in school, preschool classes at Casita Copán, or vocational programs. Children 12 and up have the opportunity to gain work experience at Casita Copán by working as an intern. As an intern, kids learn not just the basics of the jobs they perform –administrative tasks, childcare, cleaning, and maintenance—but also what it’s like to have the responsibility of a job. Kids are held accountable for their schoolwork, grades, and the quality of work they do for Casita Copán, ensuring that when the time comes, our kids will be better equipped than their parents were to tackle adulthood, parenthood, and all of the responsibility that comes with it.
The good news is that YOU can help us! #JoinTheReSolution, and together we can make real progress in resolving inequality in education and child abandonment.