|All ages, sexes, genders, and backgrounds gather quarterly to problem solve.|
AHMEN's Río de Agua Viva team is a teaching team. Every successful teaching session, however, is not a one-sided lecture, but an open discussion. Successful teachers listen.
While listening to members of ASI-Jutiapa talk about what is going on in their lives this past June, I heard something that broke my heart. Two bright, young, and enthusiastic members of the program expressed their hopelessness over their future in Honduras. Each expressed befuddlement at the likelihood of ever earning enough money to lift their families out of poverty. One said he was fifteen minutes away from joining the gangs, and the other said he plans to leave for the United States next year. The waves crashing against the beaches of Limon from my first team to Honduras over sixteen years earlier were the only sounds I could hear as I vainly searched for the right words to tell these two young men to “stick it out.”
|An investment in ASI is an investment in these kids' futures as prosperous Honduran citizens.|
But then, they don't need the right words; they still have hope. Instead of already joining the gangs or departing for the U.S., these two joined Byron Morales' CommunityEmpowerment Program, the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative, in Jutiapa. They just need encouragement to continue, and this is exactly what ASI does. ASI is a community level partnership with Honduran leaders that reinforces the mantra that “YOU can be the change your community deserves.”
|Respect of difference and attentive to others' opinions form the basis of ASI's initial paths toward empowerment.|
There are macro issues at work. The United States must resolve its immigration dilemmas so that Honduran immigration to the United States is less of a solution. We then must invest in the Honduran infrastructure so that the daily struggles to ward of disease and malnutrition are not greater battles than dismantling the government corruption and gang life leading so many to emigrate from their country in the first place.
In the meantime, ASI is a solution, and it develops the capacity in its community agents to know that they are the solution too. While bureaucracies, congresses, and presidents delay decision, AHMEN is taking charge. While the International Monetary Fund enables the rich to get richer off of the poor, ASI empowers families to be their country's most-prized resources. You can too! To learn more about what Byron Morales does in Honduras, or to make a donation, don't hesitate to contact me.
The way forward is not continuing to permit an exodus of Honduran youth but to empower neighborhoods to transform their country. Join us today.
Together, we are the difference