We have been in Honduras for 30 years because of the support we have received from generous donors. Now the generation that grew-up with Predisan is serving their communities. Watch the video of a few of our staff as they tell of the impact Predisan had on their life and their hopes for the future.
Please follow all the great activities our visiting groups are having while serving.
Written by Callum Gant
In many ways this week has been the most enjoyable so far, although maybe the busiest! The team has visited 3 schools and has taken the drug prevention fair to over 300 children. Growing in confidence and personality after each one, everybody involved feels like we have made some real progress, and hopefully given the young children inspiration to stay on the straight and narrow road in what can seem an impossible task, especially in the neighborhoods and social conditions some have the experience of growing up in. However, looking at all the smiling young faces when we turned up in their schools anyone would think these children have it all! What they lack in material items (for example: exercise books, pens, coloring pencils etc.) they definitely make up for it with their burning enthusiasm and genuine desire to learn.
With another 7 schools still to visit everyone involved with the prevention program is extremely optimistic at how much we can achieve. However, what I find hard to comprehend is firstly why haven´t programs like this been able to be widely implemented by teachers or parents? After all, these beautiful children are the future of Catacamas. Secondly what scares me more is how much these young minds already know about drugs and alcohol. Not many children in the UK at the age of 8/9 could tell you how cocaine is consumed and the effects it has on you. But that is the drastic reality of the problems cities like Catacamas face; personally I feel honored to be given the opportunity to try and help here and I know the feeling is echoed amongst the team.
Listening to some of the pupils´ personal experiences has been insightful and emotional for everyone to hear this week, in some cases we’ve heard about alcoholic parents, family members involved in drug abuse and even cases of domestic violence. As disturbing and shocking it was to hear these stories it just makes you realize these are everyday situations for some children, and it shows how important projects like ours is in teaching young people about the dangers and effects of consuming harmful substances and also the detrimental effect it can have on you as a person, your family and the community you live in.
After a busy week, Friday afternoon’s learning session was a welcome bit of fun for the team. Love was in the air with Valentine’s day soon approaching, the colored paper came out along with the crayons and it was time for everyone to get creative! It was nice to see how close and comfortable everybody has become with each other over the course of the program and this was reflected in the cards we all made for each other, even with limited Spanish/English language skills I feel like there are genuine friendships being made all around me, which will continue long after we leave.
By: Lucy Proudlock – Volunteer from Progressio, the UK organization serving at Predisan.
It all started on Tuesday, when we helped Predisan staff visit the houses of applicants to their scholarship programme. A limited amount of scholarships are available to children who achieve exceptionally highly at school, but whose families cannot afford to support them economically past 6th grade (around age 12). Predisan visit the houses of applicants to assess their living conditions and make sure scholarships are reaching those who truly need them. A few members of Team Catacamas were asked to accompany staff on these visits to help interview parents and take photographs, so that they had time to visit all the houses before the first meeting on Thursday. It was very interesting to see the different types of houses people live in around Catacamas. Some UK volunteers were surprised to find houses that had no door for their toilet, an outdoor kitchen and only a hose for a shower, but apparently these are signs of a slightly more privileged household because they mean the family have running water (albeit only twice a week if they don’t have a tank).
Between Wednesday and Friday, we visited ten primary schools to introduce ourselves ahead of the drug prevention fairs we will be running over the remaining weeks of our cycle. Each school was different; at one school a single teacher taught three year groups in one classroom with one cabinet of dusty old textbooks; others were lucky enough to have multiple classrooms and tarmac play area. The children were generally dressed in crisp, clean white shirts and blue bottoms, and greeted us in unison, the way schoolchildren do.
Thursday was the biggie; our first day running a workshop we had taken two weeks to plan.
We were asked the day before to perform a play in front of around 200 people in Spanish, which we did surprisingly well before independently running hour-long workshops to teach 84 young people about motivation. We split them into two groups and progressed from ice-breakers and fables, to explaining internal and external motivation, playing topical games and creating life-goal timelines which included a plan of how to achieve them.
After a ‘spin-the-bottle’-style evaluation quiz with one of the groups, national volunteer Alex ended with a speech about the importance of motivation. It’s behind everything we do, he explained, so it’s important to channel energy in a positive way. “There are how many of you, twenty-five?” he asked (ten of the group had left to get photos taken), “well, if you all work hard to achieve your goals, that’s twenty-five less unemployed; Twenty-five less hungry, twenty-five less bored, twenty-five less beggars, twenty-five less people left desperate in the community.” He had a point.
It’s important to consider why we are here, where we are going and what we need to achieve to get there. If young people do not have a sense of self-belief and direction, they are more vulnerable to becoming reliant on those who do. This can be dangerous in a country whose state resources to look after the needy near non-existent.
Over the next month, we will have a lot more contact with the hundreds of brilliant young people we met this week. Our hope is to help motivate them to work towards their goals and achieve the best they can without becoming vulnerable to the dangers of negative influences. We can only do this through the power of motivation, and if this week is anything to go by, I think we’ll do it well.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to see God’s continued blessings in 2015.
During 2014, God opened the door for Predisan to serve an additional 35,000 individuals through a network of 17 additional healthcare facilities in Culmi. We rejoice in this new opportunity – and in challenges that come as well – spiritual, financial, and technical challenges.
We ask for your partnership with our staff (including 160 Honduran coworkers) as we meet spiritual needs, provide direct healthcare to individuals, participate in healthcare brigades, travel to mountain communities, pursue development efforts, lead groups of volunteers, and mentor families of children in our scholarship program. Whether in financial support or by visiting Honduras, you are joining with us in living out our mission: Jesus is proclaimed and lives are healed.
We could not do this critical work of holistic healing without you. Raising $375,000 before the end of the year will facilitate meeting this incredible challenge as we start 2015. Your gift today will help us reach this goal.
As we see God work in and through us, we are grateful: for your participation, for the opportunity to grow during 2015.
Before year end please take the opportunity to “play it forward” by giving a portion of the blessings that you have received to benefit a family that is not as blessed.
Predisan works to bring healing for the body and the spirit to the municipality of Catacamas and Culmi’s more than 90,000 residents through the work of its chaplains and medical staff.
We are seeking to raise $375,000 before year end to facilitate meeting the incredible challenge we have with our growing ministry. Your gift today will help us reach this goal.
Your gift will benefit the neediest families in a region marked by oppressive poverty and limited opportunities. Here are some of the examples of how we can use your gift:
$25 could provide a family seed to plant a vegetable garden
$100 could provide a very sick child much needed healthcare
$300 could send a child to school for one year
$2,000 could provide a scholarship for someone fighting additions at CEREPA
Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated and will go to meet the needs in Honduras.
“Margarita” recently wrote a very special note to the CEREPA staff who helped her overcome her addiction. She says “I´ll never forget all the words of encouragement. You gave me the tools to move forward in my life. My accomplishments and triumphs are thanks to each one of you. God is working in my life and has given me better opportunities than I thought were possible.” Margarita came to CEREPA from out of town but stayed in Catacamas after completing her in-patient treatment to study and be close to CEREPA as a source of on-going support in her fight against addiction. Now she has found a new job in Tegucigalpa and will have access to CEREPA on Wheels, our satellite program in Tegucigalpa.