A Honduran Story of Rebirth
What happens when girls and boys realize that they can promote changes in their communities and start believing in a brighter future through education? The end result is empowered youth who inspire social change.Isis is an adolescent girl who became a young leader in her community in Honduras. Her story is the story of a community changing for the better.
In 2007, through a youth-led census activity, Isis and her friends discovered that 32% of their community’s children were out of school. Many adolescent girls were spending their days working to earn money for their family, or by taking care of their younger siblings or their own children. In fact, more than 70% of women in her community have their first child before the age of 20. Most adolescent mothers drop out of school as soon as they get pregnant. For many girls, there simply wasn’t time to attend school during the day.
Isis, like many of her peers, had a child, but was motivated to continue her schooling. She and her peers were interested in an alternative education program in the evenings would be useful for those that had to work during the day and had some available time at night. CARE supported this idea and trained Isis and her friends as facilitators for the alternative education program. They faced many challenges. Isis, like many Honduran girls, was shy, but by undergoing CARE’s training, was able to develop her leadership skills and was able to utilize these skills to encourage other girls to attend the evening classes.
Isis and her friends also created a kindergarten in order to have a safe space for the children while the mothers studied. The youth movement is changing traditional roles for boys and girls in the community. Girls and boys are now taking on non-traditional roles in their graduation projects and are even learning about entrepreneurship in order to earn extra money.
The work and actions of the adolescents have had a positive impact on the community. Community members have noticed a decrease in violence and have called this a new start for the community, a rebirth of possibilities.
“I hope that our other dreams become reality, as some of our dreams already became reality.” - Isis Zúniga Reyes
CARE believes in developing the potential of girls like Isis, whose future plans are to finish school to become a lawyer and buy her own house, and in turning them into partners and role models who promote positive changes in their communities.
Watch Isis’ story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50wxZq-h5zI
By: Ken Balla, CARE USA