Child Champions in Honduras find an innovative way to help kids in poverty who risked falling behind in their academic studies due to school closures caused by the pandemic.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit Honduras, home schooling and internet access for virtual learning became a necessity for students to continue their academic studies. But only 42% of the Honduran population has access to the internet, and those living in poverty simply can’t afford it.
Low-income families in Honduras live on the equivalent of $2 a day. An internet card costs $1 a day, and families in poverty must spend what they make on food and other basic necessities, not internet access. As a result, public school students living in poverty risked falling behind in their studies because they had no way to communicate with their teachers.
OneChild’s office in Honduras noticed that schoolchildren needed access to an internet connection and to have a device to search for the information and send homework to their teachers.
So the office decided to start a pilot project to help students get the access to education they needed in three Hope Centers in Choluteca, La Ceiba, and Tegucigalpa.
Each Hope Center received three computer tablets with the purpose of helping children with their homework. They called it the Tablet Project.
The project has helped children in elementary school and teenagers in middle school and high school who were about to lose a school year because they did not have access to an internet connection.
Some Child Champions even went to the schools in their communities and talked to the teachers so they could give their students an opportunity to work on and turn in their homework from six months ago, and the teachers agreed.
More than 80 children have benefited from this startup project, and they are happy to know that they have an opportunity to make up their work.
The Tablet Project allows Child Champions to help three kids at a time with searching for information and turning in assignments. They’re also available to answer students’ questions, and as a result the students have had outstanding academic results.
Vilma Medina, a Hope Center director, visited the schools of the children who were selected to participate in the Tablet Project. She asked the school directors to give the children an opportunity to make up past lessons so they can complete and pass their school year.
One of the teachers involved in the program, Bessy, shares how an 11-year-old sponsored boy named Adrian caught up on homework and will be able to graduate to the next grade.
“Adrian has always been a good student,” Bess says. “He is so responsible, but since the pandemic started, I couldn’t reach him. Then I realized it was because he and his family moved away. When Vilma (the Hope Center director) came to talk to me about Adrian, I was so happy. I knew he would receive the help he needed. I gave Vilma the study guides so she could help him during December and January. I’m so happy for the work that the Hope Center is doing. It is easy to perceive their interest to help them out.”
Adrian also told Bessy that since the beginning of the pandemic he was sad knowing that everyone who could afford internet access was sending in their homework and that he was left behind because of economic issues.
“Now he feels happy knowing that he has an opportunity to go to seventh grade,” Bessy says. “I am so happy to know that I will achieve one of my main goals this year.
The parents of the children who are helped are also excited to know that their children have not only received food donations during the pandemic, but they also are getting help with their school projects.
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