NPH Community Outreach

Reaching Out To Families in Need
February 21, 2019 - New Zealand

The sign on the front door of the Comedor welcomes visitors.

In this dry Honduras winter, thin horses graze and stray dogs wander through pine trees and scrub grass hills, cut by provincial roads and dusty tracks. Although yellow and ochre, occasional geometric squares of verdent brassicas and other vegetables appear.

Nearby is one of the most dangerous towns in Honduras, over an hour south of Tegucigalpa, where many local people leave early for subsistence jobs in forestry, manual labouring and manufacturing cigarettes.

In a field nearby stands a newly constructed brick building visited every lunchtime by local children. Here they are welcomed with a warm meal, likely to be their only one of the day. Once bellies are filled, they are not only more likely to return to school, they are now more able to learn.

The fact children can concentrate better when efforts are made to make sure they’re fed, is a concept many New Zealanders are familiar with, but for parts of Latin America, this is a revelation. It is also the first and essential ‘building block’ to a better community, to which to create daycare and homework centres; more family support and further community wellbeing.

Helping provide these facilities is part of NPH Honduras’ community outreach - a staunch supporter of these types of projects, This is in addition to NPH’s essential residential services and other wider family care and support it provides throughout the region.

Comedor Infantil Talanga is a safe environment in which to receive food, a smile and potentially a warm hug.

More than this it also provides respite for many local children, where both domestic and street violence can dominate young lives, to the point where deprivation and often fear has become a way of life.

As a Kiwi board member seeing the Comodor at full capacity, a hive of happy energy, was one of the most moving experiences during my recent visit to NPH Mexico and Honduras operations.

As unfamiliar adults, we entered sheepishly, feeling almost intrusive. A little girl with a pink headband started pulling up a little chair next to me - next children wanted us all to sit down and share their food with us - then the cheeky grins and the laughter began.

This lunch hour they were free to be kids, free to chat with their friends and do something extraordinary that puts many adults to shame - welcome strangers to their table.

Lisa-Marie Richan
Board Member NPH NZ




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