In a recent email conversation I asked several people what they thought about the community empowerment program we have been calling the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiatve. I wanted to gauge people’s interpretations of the powerful investment we are making.
I received many responses. Everyone expressed excitement regarding AHMEN's overdue expansion into long-term development. One statement, however, stuck out more than the others, and I think it may have something to do with the perspective of the respondent. Janet Espinosa is a former Peace Corps worker and instructor at the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura in Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras. I met her during a stay in Yorito in June 2010, and that fall she brought a group of community leaders from the mountains of Yorito all the way to the beaches of Cusuna for Byron Morales' first ASI workshop. Janet comes from California, but her heart beats for Honduras. When asked about her perception of AHMEN’s community empowerment program, Janet responded:
"I see SIFAT-AHMEN as a catalyst for empowerment. There are many people in Honduras, and especially in Yorito, that have ideas but need the training to implement them. With training, support and financial assistance they will be able to help their communities. I see SIFAT- AHMEN as helping Hondurans use their already strong faith by providing the basis for action and a view towards the future."
All I could say after I read this was “WOW!” The long-term community development program AHMEN is helping SIFAT’s Byron Morales implement in Honduras is a catalyst for empowerment, and in my mind, there is no better manifestation of the potential of our collaborative adventure than the picture below.
|From Left: Rebecca Graber, President of Honduras Porfirio Lobo, Anne Tolene, Rachel Hanle, and Byron Morales|
The pure symbolism of this picture is what AHMEN is all about. The Honduran government, the UAB International Studies Program, and faith-based NGOs are converging to transform Honduras. We at AHMEN are a network bringing the most concerned world citizens together for the sole purpose of transforming Honduras into a place where poverty, malnutrition, violence, and climate collapse are no longer realities but finalized chapters of a nation's history books.
During his speech at the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit in Catacamas, Honduras, Byron Morales presented a geometric viewpoint of empowerment in Honduras. After discussing the nature of how AHMEN's community action program helps communities grapple the hurdles to their self-agency, he closed with the following statement:
"Ending hunger and malnutrition is both the first and last step to empowerment in Honduras. For when every Honduran understands they, their sisters and brothers deserve the capacity to be fully nourished in body, mind, and spirit, societal problems such as hunger will begin to solve themselves."
The relationship between AHMEN and Honduras has been positively blessed since the beginning. Every single day the people we work with in Honduras are getting closer to the future to which we all aspire. The BIG moments, like the one's in the picture above, don't happen all the time. The little ones, on the other hand, do.
Please think about joining a team to Honduras today. Consider letting an AHMEN representative come speak to your church, small group, club, class, etc. Begin praying daily for the success of AHMEN's community action program, and choose to include it as part of your regular charitable donation cycle today.
Together we are the difference. How can you help?