When the pandemic closed down businesses in Honduras, one little boy who had been getting counseling was cut off from his sessions. After Child Champions stepped in, the boy was able to get the help he urgently needed.
Matthew, a sponsored kid living in poverty in Honduras, is a quiet 4-year-old boy with an adventurous spirit. When I first met him, he was playing in the ruins of a house that was left unbuilt some time ago. He had a long stick in his hand and was pretending to be a ship’s captain.
Suddenly, I heard a voice speaking in Spanish. Margarita, who is Matthew’s grandmother, was telling him, “Matthew! Be careful. You are going to fall from there. Come down!”
Margarita was watching him while she was washing clothes at the pila, a structure where families come to collect water and scrub their clothes. She rarely has any down time as she takes care of her three grandchildren by herself and also provides food for her two youngest children, ages 13 and 20.
Boy Misses His Mom
Margarita says that Matthew’s dad left the family and that his mom leaves often. She says last time Matthew’s mom left, she was gone for four months. Margarita shares how sad it was for Matthew, who continually asked about where his mother was. He would get so upset that he wouldn’t eat much and started losing weight.
Because of this emotionally unstable situation, Child Champions at Matthew’s Hope Center connected him to Orfa, a psychologist who could counsel him and give him hope. Every time Orfa visited the Hope Center, she visited with Matthew to provide counseling.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Honduras closed down for several months, and Orfa could not travel or reach Matthew easily because he had no cellphone.
So, Child Champions stepped in to find a way for Matthew to get the counseling he needed.
Thankfully, a donation from the nonprofit Developing Workers, another U.S. partner working in Honduras, allowed Child Champions to purchase cellphones to lend to the vulnerable kids who all live in poverty.
This generous donation and the ability of the Child Champions to think of innovative solutions during a difficult time allowed Matthew and 68 other children to be reached by the three psychologists that OneChild has in Honduras.
Phone Calls Make a Difference
Margarita says Matthew’s phone consultations with the psychologist helped him a lot.
“Matthew is not skinny anymore; he enjoys eating!” she says. “The Hope Center is also giving him milk and vitamins, but the most wonderful thing is that he wants to eat!”
The psychologist called Matthew and his grandma every week for three months. At first, he didn’t want to talk to her, but eventually he was happy to talk to her.
During the calls, the psychologist taught Matthew about dealing with his emotions, when to ask for help, how God sees him, and about self-esteem. After several calls, Matthew began to open up to her and started asking more questions about his emotions.
Before Matthew’s last session with Orfa, his mom, Alejandra, came home, and the psychologist was able to talk to her and gave her some recommendations to take into consideration to improve Matthew’s emotional well-being.
Overall, the remote psychological sessions were such a blessing to all kids and their families. They lasted three months, and each child received 12 sessions. OneChild’s psychologists reached 68 children, helping 21 kids with issues of sexual harassment, 13 with issues of physical abuse, six for emotional problems, eight for conduct, three for sexual abuse, four for depression, and 13 for other issues.
Sexual abusers in Honduras are incarcerated, and Child Champions work hard to protect children and report abuse to the proper authorities whenever it happens.
Thanks to alliances like this one, Child Champions in Honduras can keep innovating and serving children in poverty like Matthew, helping to make a difference in their lives.
Help children in poverty, like Matthew, find hope for a better future. Sponsor a child today!
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