Posts tagged ‘Nonprofit’
Lizzie’s inspiration to help others was generously endorsed by her friends (and their families). Esperanza is thrilled to report that $460 was donated in honor of Lizzie’s 16th birthday and will be used to improve the condition of Astrid’s home! Thank you all for caring so much. If all goes according to plan, Astrid will be returning here in June 2013 and will see many of you then.
Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. sends best wishes to Lizzie Morrison who is celebrating her 16th birthday! It is often thought that teenagers are self-absorbed, but this young lady has generously asked her friends to forego gifts for herself, and if they desire, make a contribution to Esperanza.
Lizzie, a high school sophomore, has befriended many Honduran children over the years. I’ll never forget the day at Shriners Hospital when I saw Lizzie rocking baby Hedman. This infant had suffered severe burns over much of his body, including his face, head and the loss of his hand. Many children would be very uncomfortable in this situation, but not Lizzie…she was a natural, comforting Hedman with the ability to see beyond his injuries.
Since that time, Lizzie and her family have not only visited dozens of children hospitalized in Boston, they have opened their home and fostered children in need of specialized medical treatment before returning to their families in Honduras. Often times, the children are with the Morrisons for several weeks and special bonds are formed.
Eight year old Astrid has developed a particularly close relationship with the Morrison family. Originally, she was here for several operations for a “tethered (spinal) cord” and “cavus” foot. She continues to return each summer for follow-up appointments. The Morrisons have been financially supporting Astrid in a bilingual school where she is a very gifted student who now has a much brighter future.
Astrid lives in a dangerous part of her village which is referred to as “punta calienta” (hot point). Fortunately, she now has a small 2 bedroom house, but it still lacks any furniture in the one common room. It is Lizzie’s desire to direct her donations to improve Astrid’s home…this might be purchasing furniture or installing bars on the windows.
Thanks Lizzie, for all your involvement over the years and for making a difference in the lives of so any children.
This afternoon I had the chance to catch up with Ana Hernandez, Esperanza’s Honduran coordinator. We talked about various medical cases we’re involved in and then she shared updates on various students Esperanza supports. I couldn’t have been happier when she talked about 15 year Jairo who will be matriculating to the next grade in February.
Jairo has had a challenging childhood to say the least. His father has never been involved in his life, and when his mom was raising him and his little brother, Carlito, she was in a horrific car accident which we witnessed. Among Brenda’s greatest ailments was a huge gash across her forehead and another gash to her hand which exposed her bones. Amazingly, an ambulance did appear, Ana escorted her to the U.S./Honduran military base and she was transferred to a hospital in Tegucigalpa. Once we learned of her prognosis, we agreed to sponsor her treatment at a private hospital, fearing she would die if she stayed in the public one.
Thankfully, Brenda made a full recovery medically. However, her life did not improve financially and she made the grueling decision to leave her sons with family and travel to the U.S. for employment. It’s a heart wrenching decision to make but Brenda wanted to be able to feed and house her two boys and decided to make the sacrifice.
Brenda never abandoned Jairo and Carlito emotionally, and she stayed in touch with them often. The money she made was sent home to provide for her sons. It took several years before Brenda moved back to Honduras and Jairo had certainly changed a lot. His mom now had a husband and wanted everyone to move to Guatemala. Jairo was no longer interested in school and his dream was to buy a cow.
Jairo did join the rest of the newly blended family in Guatemala but it didn’t last long. He is an extremely mature and independent boy and wanted to return to his native Honduras. When he moved back, he was only 14 years old and would be living on his own. We worried how he would survive, what would he do with his life, and how would be resist the temptations of drugs and other dangers?
We did assure Jairo that if he was willing to follow a few of our rules, we would help pay for his school and food. Jairo has become a class leader and has a job six days a week with a local farmer. Ana acts as his surrogate mother, attending teacher conferences. When we are in Flores, Jairo moves into our house and we become “family.” He couldn’t be happier than when he’s doing a construction project with Tom, helping “our” younger children with their homework, or cooking a meal with (or for) me.
This young man is one special person and we are blessed to have him for our Godson. Keep up the great work, Jairo!
This past week I was hit with a nasty viral bug. It came on suddenly and wiped me out quickly. I chugged a variety of medications, slept as much as I could and anxiously awaited relief. But while I waited, I thought of people in Honduras who are faced with similar common illnesses and those who suffer from far greater ones. How much harder they endure and with far less complaining than me!
After years of working in the medical field of Honduras, we’ve been accustomed to a shortage of supplies in medicine and equipment, but things have become worse. Last fall we learned about hospitals having to cancel surgeries because they lacked oxygen. Now, there are 28 public hospitals having to postpone surgeries because they lack basic operating materials.
It’s alarming to hear this news which tremendously impacts the general population, putting the majority of Hondurans at risk. We also witnessed this personally, in our village of Flores, with a neighbor suffering from Guillean-Barre Syndrome. This illness struck the nervous system of a healthy 18 year old, and now poses life-threatening complications.
This situation would be terrifying enough for any family but imagine facing the monumental task of coming up with $15.00 a day for the medication when that exceeds your daily income? And then…facing the obstacle of actually finding a place that has the medication available? That’s just the beginning…the mom couldn’t have been more appreciative of the basic supplies (gloves, gauze, oxygen tubing) which we could provide. These items were not available in town and she didn’t have the resources to look elsewhere.
We’ll continue to collect as many resources as we can, and deliver them in March. Hopefully, there will be additional aid on a National level, as well.
Six months ago, we shared the news that Esperanza’s most generous benefactor, Richard Kimball, had passed away. His death had a significant impact on us personally, and the grief was spread to Flores, Honduras, as well. Although Dick never had the opportunity to travel to Honduras, his presence was felt…photos hung in people’s homes of Dick and Martha (“Abuelo” and “Abuela”) and his name was known for all the patients he supported financially.
Every Christmas, Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. has received his annual donation. It was with great pride Dick presented a check he knew would have a significant impact in the lives of many children in need. This year, Martha continued Dick’s tradition, and honored his wishes by continuing their support…his spirit lives on, and we are most grateful.
Earlier this week, we arrived home after spending 12 days in Flores, Honduras. As we celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, we are reminded once again how thankful we are for all of you, and for your support of our work in Honduras.
During our trip, we had the opportunity to deliver the school supplies, footwear, dental and medical supplies, and over the counter medications which you have provided us in the past several months. Their gratitude for a new pencil or a tube of toothpaste was just amazing. There was one family with three children who we provided with shoes…as we passed by their home later in the week, the children ran to the edge of the road…smiled, and proudly showed off their new prized possessions! Your gifts were spread throughout the village and beyond.
Your interest and encouragement helps motivate us to assist the oppressed folks in Honduras in obtaining an education, accessing medical treatment, and procuring clean water.
Truly, your support is making a significant impact for many.
In less than a week, we will be on our way to Honduras. For the past several months we have been collecting school supplies, footwear and medical supplies. I have certainly learned the “art of packing” and remove any excess packing materials, pack in lightweight canvas bags and fill each one to exactly 50 lbs. (our heavy stuff goes in the carry-ons!) We are allowed one checked bag for free but pay the additional fee ($50.00 each) to bring 2 extras…far cheaper than sending by mail, and generally, reliable.
Part of the packing process is assessing which items are the greatest priority. Certainly medical supplies comes to the top of the list and we will be carrying medicine and equipment. However, one item we are unable to take and is greatly needed is oxygen. I just read a report that Mario Catarino Rivas, a large public hospital in San Pedro Sula is currently without oxygen. Not only elective surgeries, but emergency surgeries are cancelled. The issue is a supply problem… the hospital is in debt to its only supplier. This just adds another element to the long list of problems with the healthcare system… chronic shortage of medicine, equipment and supplies, along with striking doctors.
Hopefully, we’ll stay healthy during our trip and fortunately, we have the means to receive private care. We’re certainly in the minority for this privilege.
Esperanza would like to express their appreciation to Lori Cordova, RN and the entire team (48 volunteers) of The Friends of Barnabas Foundation who are currently screening/treating patients in San Pedro Sula, Honduras this week. Two of our ongoing patients, and their parents have left their homes in Flores and Comayagua and are scheduled to be seen by this cardiac team. Five year old Adriana will receive a heart catheterization in the next couple of days. The team will also perform an echo cardiogram on one year old Jose (pictured above) who was previously seen by FOBF, and it was determined that he would need to travel to the United States to receive a pacemaker. Once we receive the report, we will begin the process of contacting a previous benefactor and coordinating with the doctors and hospital who are able to provide his care. Our best wishes to this extraordinary group and all their patients who are receiving this essential medical intervention.
Jason and Becca from Our Journey for Hope are putting on exhibitions, displaying the work of the Honduran children they taught this summer. Our Journey for Hope has worked closely with Esperanza – Hope For The Children, Inc. in providing children in Honduras the opportunity to not only learn photography but self expression as well. The first exhibit is in Glen Falls, NY at The World Awareness Children’s Museum, starting at 1pm. They expect to have more shows so keep an eye on their website: http://ourjourneyforhope.tumblr.com/
Today marks the beginning of the school year at Marantha in Comayagua, Honduras. Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. is committed to providing financial assistance for four students: Lisbeth Daniela Mejia Leon (5th grade), Noel Edgardo Solano Gomez (4th grade), Wessly Hernandez (2nd grade) and Astrid Virginia Mejia Ordonez (1st grade). Special thanks to Charlie and Nancy Morrison for providing Astrid’s educational expenses for another year.
Marantha’s mission is to “provide a comprehensive education including mind, body and spirit.” Their curriculum is difficult and students take classes in Spanish, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Bible, Art, Music, Computer and Physical Education. ”Our” students face the additional challenges of commuting each day, and not having resources available in their towns for homework projects. In addition, their families are often ill equipped to assist with homework because they have only completed the first few years of primary education.
Attending a private school offers students a smaller teacher/student ratio and also offers a consistent schedule where teachers aren’t forced to strike because of poor working conditions. It has been a rewarding experience watching the growth in Daniela, Noel, Wessly and Astrid and we wish them an enjoyable and successful school year!