Hope Centers in Honduras
Fighting to Keep Kids Safe

Story and photos by Josela Lopez, Honduras Field Communications Specialist

Hope Centers are honored for their work in teaching children living in poverty how to protect themselves from abuse.

Child Champions at Hope Centers in Honduras are learning how to recognize child abuse and how to teach kids how to protect themselves.

Article 124 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras says, “Every child must be protected against every form of abandonment, cruelty and exploitation.”

Sadly, there are still many children in our country for whom this law is not yet a reality. A 2020 UNICEF report* cited rising violence against children in Honduras as one of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is reason for hope.

Many child advocates in Honduras are dedicated to ending violence against children. Child Champions at OneChild Hope Centers are working to prevent child abuse and also prepare children to protect themselves.

And they are not alone in this fight.

At OneChild we believe there is power in partnering with other organizations who share the same objectives in order to double our strength, knowledge, and positive outcomes for the protection of children.

Children gain a greater sense of security and hope when they know there are adults who will speak up for them and protect them.

One such organization is Asociación ara una Sociedad más Justa (ASJ), a nonprofit working for the defense of the rights of the children in Honduras.

ASJ trains churches, orphanages, schools, and other nonprofit organizations on topics like:

  • How to teach children to protect themselves (such as calling their private parts by name and what is a good touch and a bad touch)
  • What to do when a child has been abused
  • How to file a report
  • How to offer psychological support for a victim of abuse

Since 2022, OneChild has partnered with ASJ to train Hope Centers nationwide in Child Protection and Prevention of Child Abuse. And these efforts are bearing fruit.

In June 2023, five Hope Centers in Honduras were recognized for their excellent work in training more than 90 children at each center how to tell when someone is attempting to abuse them.

OneChild Honduras also has a program of psychological support that helps us spot red flags during a child’s conversation with the psychologist. Every year the psychologists report on each child’s well-being. And if necessary, kids meet with the psychologist monthly, or as often as needed.

One example of this program working for a child’s protection came when a Hope Center Director noticed something was wrong with one of the girls who attended the center. She immediately called the psychologist and told her what she noticed.

The psychologist talked with the girl and realized she had suffered from child abuse. The Hope Center Director talked to the family and assessed the situation. Although the family did not press charges against the molester, the Hope Center was able to help the family protect the child.

This incident happened before the Hope Center had received the training from ASJ. The Hope Center Director says that she now has an even better understanding, and with all her new knowledge she feels more confident in guiding families and children in these situations.

Children in poverty gain a greater sense of security and hope when they know there are adults who will speak up for them and protect them. And children who learn how to protect themselves will grow into adults who help more children have a safer childhood.

Speak up for the children in your life and help children learn how to set healthy boundaries. And help us bring hope to more kids in hard places with a gift to the OneChild Partner’s Fund.

OneChild staff in Honduras received training from Asociación ara una Sociedad más Justa, a nonprofit working for the defense of the rights of the children in Honduras.

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Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)