Honduran school serving dump workers seeking growth

By January 28, 2008

Honduras (MNN) — In Tegucigalpa, 300 to 400 young people work in the garbage dumps everyday. They range in age from infants to teenagers. 

Orphan Outreach works with several programs in Honduras and recently visited them. One in particular is an elementary school started in Tegucigalpa by a pastor several years ago. The pastor's five-year-old daughter was impacted so greatly by seeing the situation at the dump that she urged her father to do something about it. 

He decided to begin a Bible study for the children there which evolved into an elementary school. It ran for three years. The government, noting the hazard of their location, moved the school to a nearby soccer field. Finally, an organization saw what they were doing and decided to offer to construct a building for them. "They had their first graduating class from 6th grade, and of the kids that graduated, a good number of them got scholarships to privates schools outside of the dump area," said Orphan Outreach's Mike Douris.

Today they have a nursery for the children of students. Orphan Outreach recently helped raise money for electricity in the buildings. Now they are looking to build a high school for those who graduate from sixth grade.

Douris said, "They've got a program that's actually going to build the building, but there's no operational funds to actually make it happen. So we're in the process of looking at how much they'll need and looking for partners to invest in these kids' lives."

Church mission groups can play a large role in meeting the needs of the school. Construction, teacher training, and vacation Bible schools are just a few of the ways that churches can use the talents in their congregation to help the school in Tegucigalpa. 

"The goal is to get all these kids out of the dump so there are no kids working at the dump and to put them in an environment where they can learn about Christ and they can really get the tools educationally to be able to live independently after they graduate," said Douris. 

If you or your church is interested in getting involved, go here to get plugged in.

Leave a Reply