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  • Writer's pictureOCHO


The perfect gift is one that makes the world a better place!

Click here to pitch in for a special needs school bus for Atima.

Thanks to donors like you, OCHO has built a school for special-needs kids in the coffee-growing highlands of northwest Honduras.  The new school is already making a difference in the lives of dozens of children who live in and around the village of Atima.

The problem: many children with disabilities can’t reach the school, because they live deep in the mountains, on unpaved roads that are too narrow, steep, and winding for an ordinary school bus.

The solution: OCHO is raising funds to buy a specially equipped 4×4 that can pick up students at home, and safely get them back and forth to the new school.  It’s no exaggeration – your donation can make the difference between “new school” and “no school” for these special-needs kids.

We’ve taken great pains to ensure that the new school incorporates all the best practices of barrier-free design, to make it fully accessible to people with physical and cognitive challenges – but to make it fully accessible, we still need to close the transportation gap. OCHO donors have already helped raise $6,410 of $14,000  — almost halfway toward our goal! Every donation matters, and will help us close the gap, so please be generous!


2017 marks the 19th year of OCHO’s public health partnership with our friends in Atima and the surrounding communities.  In that time, we have:

  • Established a clinic.  In partnership with the Honduran and Japanese governments, we have built and furnished a modern clinic in Atima, with emergency and inpatient capabilities, a labor and delivery suite, pharmacy, and primary care facilities.

  • Provided health care to thousands of patients, across a range of specialties: pediatrics, internal medicine, OB/GYN, radiology, ophthalmic surgery, physical therapy, and dentistry.

  • Helped to sharply reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy in Atima and environs, through a concerted public health outreach and education effort.

  • Trained teachers and teaching assistants at the school for special-needs children in Atima, providing on-site clinical instruction in developmental pediatrics, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, and special education.  In 2017, two teachers from Atima’s school for special-needs children came to Baltimore for two weeks of training at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Baer School, here in Baltimore.

  • Reduced the incidence of water-borne illness through the construction of a central water-treatment facility, in partnership with Rotary Club International.

  • Collaborated with Proyecto Mirador, another nonprofit founded by early participants in OCHO’s efforts, which has installed thousands of high-efficiency low-emission wood stoves in homes throughout the region, helping to reduce deforestation and erosion that can lead to mudslides and the loss of fertile topsoil.  It also has cut the incidence of asthma and other respiratory ailments by keeping smoke out of living spaces.

  • Held soccer camps and provided other summer activities for children, when the OCHO clinic is occupying the primary school.  In 2017, we held our first soccer competition for children from the special-needs school.

  • Provided ongoing IT services to the school community, including technical assistance and training in cloud-based productivity applications, and the establishment of basic telemedicine capabilities that will allow teachers at the special-needs school to communicate with child development experts and therapists at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

  • Provided bilingual dictionaries and other learning materials for English classes in Atima.

In all of these efforts, we pay close attention to sustainability, building local capacity through training and educational outreach, and to the maximum extent possible, sourcing goods and services locally.

Your help will make a huge difference in the lives of our friends and partners in Atima, and all of the people we are privileged to serve together.  Thank you for your generosity!

Click here to pitch in for a special needs school bus for Atima.

Ana and Sulmy, teachers from Atima’s school for special-needs children, spent two weeks in Baltimore training with occupational therapists, speech therapists, and child development specialists at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  Ongoing training is a key part of OCHO’s commitment to capacity building and sustainability.

Amy and Sulmy with Zulema Sockwell Moore, principle of the special-needs Baer School in Baltimore.



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