Our vision of creating sustainable and self-sufficient communities goes beyond our annual visit to Honduras. OCHO supports local initiatives that although not necessarily related to direct medical care contribute to the overall growth of a community by promoting education, sustainable farming, and physical activities.
Based on the belief that the smile on a child’s face upon receiving a new box of crayons is universal — an equal joy in every country, no matter its resources — the School Supplies for Honduras Project began in 2006 with five donors and one bag of school supplies that were distributed to patients in the medical clinic. In a few short years, the project has grown to include over 75 individual donors and 20 ten-gallon crates of school supplies that are distributed to more than 15 schools around Atima and Choloma.
Each year, volunteers in the United States collect and pack paper, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, rulers, and a variety of other supplies that are then distributed by the team in Atima. In just the past two years, the project has distributed over 4,000 pieces of chalk; 7,500 pens; 10,000 pencils; and 15,000 crayons. Furthermore, in 2016 OCHO started a summer enrichment camp for students at the primary school where we stay for a week. In addition to English lessons, students also learn important intercultural communication skills and discover the power of international friendships. Watch a video of these unique English camp that is now becoming a tradition, and sustained throughout the year by local volunteer Frank Rivera.
Community Sustainable Gardens
In 2015, OCHO partnered with civic organization PROMUSAN to support their organic community garden program. Under the leadership of local experts, families in Atima are trained in the techniques of organic farming, learn tools to grow small enterprises, and adopt proper nutrition through the diversification of food production.
OCHO supports this program by providing seeds, gardening tools, and labor force. Read more details.
Every year, OCHO volunteers play a friendly soccer game with the youngest members of the Atima community. Thanks to a grant provided by the Rivers School [Boston, Massachusetts], OCHO was able to sponsor two of the soccer leagues by providing much needed equipment. One of OCHO volunteers, Noah Schweitzer, collected soccer balls for other communities surrounding Atima. Through soccer, children are engaged in a safe and healthy environment while promoting collaboration and teamwork.
Since that initial grant in 2015, OCHO volunteers have continued to promote sportsmanship and physical education, and in 2017 witnessed the first integrated game between students at the special need school and children from the primary school. Integration is the key to a successful and equal education. Read more details.
One of the key elements in sustaining the partnership between OCHO and our local partners has been the communication through internet. This has been particularly important for the staff at the special needs school and OCHO’s special needs team. In recent years, the OCHO team has continued to consult with the teachers and share expertise via email; however, in addition to some internet access, what’s most conspicuously lacking is the crucial knowledge that’s often taken for granted: basic computer literacy.
Providing and sustaining the education of teachers and medical staff on current use of computer skills and the use of Google Drive as a tool to collaborate and share information has been the work of OCHO’s technology department for the past five years. Read more details.
Would you like to join the OCHO team by sharing your skills and services?
Contact the OCHO Board of Directors:
P.O Box 26162
Baltimore, MD 21210