Tender Heart, Powerful Influence

By Josela Lopez, Honduras Field Communications Specialist   |  Photos by Josela Lopez and Hope Center staff in Honduras

A Child Champion has impacted not only the Hope Center she works at, but also her community in Honduras. The people in the community all want their kids to attend the Hope Center where she works so that they, too, can have a shot at a brighter future.

Roxana encourages each child at her Hope Center to dream big.

Roxana Maria Almendarez is a tenderhearted woman who gives it all for the kids she works with at her Hope Center in the community of La Divina Providencia in Honduras. She has a special passion for kindergarteners and believes that if we appreciate, care for, and work with children at a very young age, we can make the biggest difference in their lives.

Roxana has been a Child Champion since 2012. She works in the OneChild Hope Center’s kindergarten program and she’s also a volunteer at the preschool. She’s well known in the community as the best preschool and kindergarten teacher.

“My passion is to see them grow, see the results of a good education, and help them to develop their motor skills,” Roxana says of the young kids living in poverty she works with.

She knows that children are the future, and at the Hope Center she helps them develop physically, cognitively, and spiritually. Roxana encourages each child to dream big and helps them believe they can achieve their dreams.

Kids attending Hope Centers like this one in Honduras receive regular health checkups.

Roxana and the Hope Center have been a big help for the community, particularly by nurturing greater spirituality among children and their families. In Honduras, most communities are controlled by big gangs, which is the main reason Roxana says greater spirituality is needed to influence kids at a young age and keep them from joining gangs.

As children in poverty grow in their faith and learn about God’s love, they discover true hope for the future.

Other benefits that kids attending OneChild Hope Centers receive include eating nutritious food or supplements, which helps them stay healthy and fights child hunger. At Hope Centers, kids also enjoy child development opportunities as well as health checkups and immunizations to prevent common diseases. In addition, kids learn how to take care of themselves, avoid high-risk behaviors, and protect themselves from illness through simple hygiene habits.

Parents in La Divina Providencia are constantly asking what they can do to register their children at the Hope Center because it has had such a positive effect on children and their families. Community residents notice that kids who attend the Hope Center do better in school, are well mannered, and are physically and spiritually nourished.

Once I was a Child Champion to a child who couldn’t speak because he had learning disabilities. I was a Child Champion for five years, and in that time at the Hope Center, he got the help he needed to learn and to take care of himself. Today, he is in second grade, and he has learned how to go to the bathroom, eat by himself, and how to paint.

A Hope Center helps children by giving them an opportunity to learn and succeed in life. Child Champions like Roxana are like moms, nurses, teachers, and counselors for the children. Child Champions are everything to kids living in poverty in communities like La Divina Providencia.

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