Global Awareness: reflections of a volunteer

The SC4 Global Awareness Club will host a conference Feb. 3, 2011, where SC4 students will speak about global issues impacting children.

It has been 9 months since I returned from my trip to APUFRAM’S site in El Conejo, Comayagua, Honduras Central America. APUFRAM is an acronym for: Association of Franciscan Boys towns and Girls towns.” My travels have made me keenly aware of the plight of children in third world countries.

This Honduran mother and her infant are in the APUFRAUM’s Margarita Cook Mothers project for abandoned and abused moms and their children in El Conejo, Co mayagua, Honduras Central America.

This Honduran mother and her infant are in the APUFRAUM’s Margarita Cook Mothers project for abandoned and abused moms and their children in El Conejo, Co mayagua, Honduras Central America. Photo by Twana Pinskey

APUFRAUM has programs to educate Honduran children, as well as a program for abandoned and abused women and their children.  However, according to APUFRAM, many of these programs continue to suffer due to lack of volunteers during tough economic times.

La Villa San Antonio de Padua is the site of APUFRAUM’s orphanage and school for boys aged 5-14. The school at La Villa was forced to close, with as many of the boys as possible attending classes at Guadalupe, the site of APUFRAM’S orphanage and school for girls.

The teachers are spread even more thinly with the addition of students from the closed school.

According to former APUFRAM director of volunteer housing, Megan Meyers, without an education, the children will not have the skills necessary to get jobs and become productive members of society. Above all else, it is my desire that those considering a volunteer trip to Honduras will understand that since the coup, it is safe in Honduras.

I was greeted warmly everywhere I went. I never once felt uncomfortable in any way.

It was as though a long-missed family member had returned home to the Hondurans when they saw “su amiga, como un miembro de la familia, Twana, que pasa por el sendero.” (Their friend, their perceived family member, Twana walking down the path).

One of our children at the Guadalupe site said to me in her broken English: “Twana no go back to America. You stay here, Honduras be your home now.” How do you hear something like this from an innocent child and not be affected by it?
As a student of Journalism at St. Clair County Community College, I had the opportunity to practice my skills by interviewing local business owners in Honduras as to how their lives have been affected since the change in their government.

From all those I encountered, the resounding sentiment was it is safe in Honduras. Learning more about global issues and getting involved is something any student at St. Clair County Community college can do.

Further information on the Global Issues impacting children conference can be obtained by contacting Professor Kraig Archer at 810-989-5695.

Twana Pinskey

Editor-in-Chief

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