Education and Vocational Training
Much of Honduras Hope’s work is focused on helping children get an education. We have programs focused at all levels of the education system; early childhood, primary, secondary, vocational training, university, and adult education. About 60% of our annual budget is spent supporting educational programs.
Prior to our arrival, Plan Grande had no elementary school and the San Jose school needed significant maintenance and expansion. Now that we have built each town an elementary school, the government is supplying the 1st-6th grade teachers, and all children can attend. With the principal, we attempt to identify those kids who are not coming to school so we can help remove their barriers to attendance.
The Honduran government does not provide a kindergarten program. Through our support, we have been able to launch kindergarten programs in both schools. In Plan Grande we pay the salary of the kindergarten teacher directly. In San Jose, we provided services and materials in exchange for their addition of a kindergarten teacher.
Secondary school is optional in Honduras. While it is publically funded, the costs associated with attendance; shoes, uniforms, books, fees, supplies, are over $200 per student. Additionally, families loose help with childcare or farming. We help enable any student who wants to continue his or her education by covering these costs and by working with parents to foster their encouragement and support.
Before we arrived, students from San Jose had to walk over three hours each way to attend middle and high school in Yoro. To solve the commuting program we built and manage a boarding house and dormitories inYoro. The boarding house can accommodate approximately 30 students. We are grateful to our house parents who provide a warm family-style environment for the students. We cover annually all expenses for room, board, school fees, supplies, house maintenance, and salaries for the house parents and helpers.
Alternative Secondary Programs
Honduras Hope supports two alternative secondary school programs These are a weekend education program and the CEVER vocational program. The weekend program makes it possible for students who need to participate in family life and family farming during weekdays to go to school. These options also enable adults who want to continue the secondary school education they were unable to complete earlier in life.
Honduras Hope annually assists university students pursuing degrees. Each arrangement is unique; based on the course of study, the school attending, and personal ability to assist with the costs. We also have had students graduate or discontinue their post-secondary education. Due to their employment, in each case, the students were able to provide financial assistance to their families.
CEVER Vocational School
CEVER is a private vocational school in Yoro that Honduras Hope helps support. Although it was founded 40 years ago through the US Congregational Church, it has been severely underfunded for many years. CEVER offers critical job-training programs that we are working to help the school revitalize. We have contributed equipment and supplies to enhance the quality of the existing programs and have built a culinary and hospitality school to prepare youth for jobs in the hotel and restaurant industry. Currently, most of the programs at CEVER attract boys so we are helping to install a cosmetology school to provide job opportunities for girls as well.