Friends of Honduran Children

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Happy 20th Birthday to FoHC!  On October 20th, we celebrated our 20th year as a registered charity. 

This video shows what a difference we have made in Honduras thanks to people like you! 

Happy Mothers Day to the Special Women Who Are Caring For The Children Every Day

With Mother’s Day fast approaching we want to wish all of our friends a happy Mother’s Day!

This mother’s day we would like to celebrate all of the Tias that provide care and love to the children in our children’s homes in Honduras. They love the children as if they were their own, and for that both the children and our organization are truly grateful.

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Little Joseth - 8 months old and meeting his Tia for the first time


We think of how hard it must be for some of our children whose mothers have passed away. Thankfully they have the love and support of the Tias, and especially Tia Mae.  Tia Mae gives the children so much love and they love her so much!

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Tia Mae is an amazing role model for the children. They love her so much and she gives them so much love.

And finally we want to thank Sister Maria Rosa for being a mother to thousands of Children in Honduras. She has rescued so many children and given them love and security when they needed it most.

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An orphan herself, Sister Maria Rosa wanted to provide a loving home for children who were orphaned, abandoned or living in extreme poverty

We also think about the mothers who are unable to care for their children for various reasons. They have given their children a gift - a chance for a better future. 
Be sure to give your mother a hug and thank her for all of the strength, love and patience that she has given you. Today is their special day, and we would like to wish every mother a very happy mother’s day! 

Why not consider a gift to the children in honour of your Mom?  Visit www.honduranchildren.com to give a special gift.

Flor Azul Dancers

As mentioned in the previous blog post, some of the boys in the Flor Azul dance group put on a small show for Libby while she was visiting them in November, 2011. This video is a short preview of one of their self-choreographed dances!

The Flor Azul Dancers

Libby Dalrymple relays a story from her trip to Honduras in November 2011.

When I was visiting the Flor Azul Farm School in November, I started chatting with sixteen year old Arnold. I had first met him when he was a little boy at Pedro Atala. Before coming to Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos, he had been living and begging on the streets of Tegucigalpa with his mother and older siblings.

When we spoke, Arnold excitedly told me about the dance group that he and eight other boys from Flor Azul had started. “I’d like you to see us dance!” he said. “We’ve been performing at our school as well as at some local dance competitions and festivals.” “Who teaches you? Who creates your choreography?”I asked. “We have taught ourselves,” Arnold proudly replied. My curiosity was peaked and he promised me a show.

A few of the boys from the Flor Azul dance group, all decked out in their new gear!

I looked forward all week to the performance they were planning for me! The 30 minute show surpassed all my expectations. I was impressed and inspired by what I saw unfold before my eyes. It was creative, pure and raw, and the energy was infectious! Here was a group of boys that had accomplished something unique and I was awe-struck as I realized the obstacles that they had overcome to do so. Here they were, living on a farm on the side of a mountain, with no access to dance instructors. Their dance studio was an open-air concrete pad surrounded by plantain groves and sugar cane fields. They had no television, DVD player, or MTV on site; there is no electricity. They played their music on a small battery-operated transitor radio that was connected to a very primitive MP3 player. To amplify their music for the show, they connected their music player to the stereo of an old pick-up truck.

Each of these young Hondurans had obstacles in their own lives that they had personally overcome in order to be living at Flor Azul. They had all been born into abject poverty with no advantages in life. Many young men in their position wind up in gangs on the streets of big cities and pursue lives of violence and crime. These boys were fortunate enough to come into our program, but they made the choice to stay and make something of themselves. As they have started to grow and thrive, so have their dreams. They are living at Flor Azul and learning as much as possible so they can pursue those dreams. And, they are dancing! They are channelling their energy into something positive, strong, and creative. 

These boys are ready to dance!

At the end of the show, I learned that they lacked outfits to wear for their performances. They want to look as good as they feel when they are dancing. Thanks to generous fundraising by Move’n’Groove Dance Studio & Lakefield College School, they are now outfitted and dancing with pride!

-Libby

Look for videos of the Flor Azul dance group in our next blog post!

Brenda’s Story

Julie Perilli has travelled to Honduras every year since 2007 with the Perilli-University Building Brigade. She also travelled as part of a medical brigade in 2006. The Perilli-University Building Brigade travels to Honduras each year in May to complete various projects which have included new orphanage houses, community centres, and most recently a new schoolhouse. To learn more about our brigades, visit http://honduranchildren.com/joinabrigade.html

I’ve thought long and hard about how I would put this post together. It is a difficult task to express the experiences I have had in Honduras and working with Friends of Honduran Children.

It’s been 7 years since the first time my mother, Nancy Perilli, approached me with the idea of going on a Medical Brigade. I was 16. It’s been 7 years since being introduced to the idea of Honduran poverty, orphanages, sickness and sadness.

It’s been 6 years since my mother took on a leadership role and we unknowingly began what started many years of our own brigade, known as – all joking aside – the Perilli-University Building Brigade.  It’s been 6 years since I was taught to lay my first brick, mix my first batch of mortar, build my first relationship at Nuevo Paraiso and Flor Azul.

But this isn’t about my mom stepping into a leadership position and us beginning a life-changing journey. This isn’t about me, and how Honduras has shaped me into who I am as a person today.

This is about Brenda.

It’s been 5 years since Brenda, her sister Julianna, and their brother Joshua blessed Friends of Honduran Children with their presence. It’s been 5 years since we saved them. Along with a social worker and members of our brigade, we brought them to their new life at Nuevo Paraiso.  Their mother loved them unconditionally, and to this day would love nothing more than to see her children have everything they have ever wanted in life. When we found them, this family was living in a one-room shed, in a dump, in the middle of the mountains. They lived off little food, water, and only had the clothes on their backs. Their mom had been supporting them the best she could, but survival was difficult, which left her children at risk.

It was 5 years ago these three siblings were brought to Nuevo Paraiso. They were bathed, clothed, fed, and terrified. Brenda cried. She cried leaving her mother, she cried being taken with strangers as her siblings clung to her side. She cried knowing that she was now in the role of protector to her siblings, and she had no idea how to be that.

4 years ago it got a little better. Brenda was adapting to living in a new house with her brother and sister. She was developing relationships with the other children in her house Casa del Sol. She missed her mom. She was beginning to let outsiders into her life, because she longed to be loved, hugged, and wanted. Unfortunately, she remained depressed.

3 years ago house changes came and Brenda was moved to a house with other girls her age. She missed her siblings, but knew where to find them when she needed them, and when they needed her. She started to open up, to have fun, to joke around. She was a teenager. She wrote letters to sponsors, gave hugs when they visited, and welcomed new people. She was young and still confused. 

2 years ago, Nuevo did not feel like home. She missed mom. She was so young being pushed to grow up so fast. She left, her siblings stayed. She lived with mom, went to Reyes Irene School and tried to continue with her education.  She was home, but still lost.

1 year ago, Brenda got pregnant at age 15.

Brenda with her brother Joshua, her sister Julianna, and her daughter Nancy

This year, Brenda is living in Tegucigalpa with a boyfriend and his family. She is still in contact with her mother, occasionally goes to school. Brenda still has contact with Friends of Honduran Children and her sponsors, and even sees them when the opportunity arises. Brenda was able to introduce her baby, Nancy, to her aunt and uncle for the first time. See friends. Be a teenager.

Today, Brenda is a confused, vulnerable young mother. She struggles to be happy. She needs our help. She needs our love.

Today, because of Friends of Honduran Children we get to see Brenda every year. Give her hugs. Make her laugh. Give her love. She knows we care. It gives her hope.  Because of this organization, her siblings Julianna and Joshua get to live life as children should – happy and healthy. All of them know that somebody out there cares about them.  

Why go to Honduras? Why bother trying to change lives if some stories have unpredictable endings?

For this reason – awareness – we go for them. We go for LOVE. Now you know about Brenda. Her story is real. There are thousands just like her. If you have been to Honduras, you’ll get it. If you haven’t been, you’ll want to.

All we can do is pray, and have hope for the next year.

This is Brenda’s story and it not over yet.

-JULIE