This is a brief note to let you all know what is happening with NY/HELP.
Over the past several years, NY/HELP has been working with the people of the communities around La Laguna on ways to help the tribal community empower itself. With the support provided by our coordinator in Honduras, Yovany Munguía, NY/HELP has been working with the Tribal Council and the Tribal Development Committee (CODET) on several community-development projects.
One project has been to help organize training sessions on basic organizational and financial skills for the leaders of the local Patronados (Community Councils) in each village, so they can be more effective in advocating for their communities. These sessions are being led by local teachers.
Another project is assisting the Tribal Development Committee (CODET) in efforts to expand their base of support beyond NY/HELP. This will involve supporting trips to meet with municipal and non-profit groups in Yoro, and education in how to ask for grants.
This year, the cost of these programs will be about $600.
Education has been a big priority for NY/HELP over the years. Having funded the construction of a Centro Básico (Middle School) in nearby Mataderos, we are now trying to encourage more students to attend the 7th to 9th grades there. Because it does cost money for school uniforms and supplies, NY/HELP is working with the Tribal Council to provide scholarships for these expenses to 15 students this year. The cost of this program is about $80 per student from the local area, and $125 for students from more distant villages, who must board with a family during the week. The estimated cost for this program will be about $3000 for this year.
The other big project for NY/HELP is the medical clinic. NY/HELP pays the salary of our nurse, Mirtila Garcia, which is $250 a month. Medicines for the clinic run about $200 a month. We also pay our coordinator, Yovany Munguía, a stipend of $150 a month (plus expenses); this enables him to support all these projects.
Recently, the community has developed a local "Health Committee" to oversee the operations of the medical clinic. This committee has 6 community members, including our nurse, Mirtila Garcia. NY/HELP also has a seat on this committee.
Your support of NY/HELP helps continue this exciting phase of our mission in Honduras!
Gordon & Ginger Comstock, for the NY/HELP Steering Committee
March 5, 2014
AND on March 8, we received an email from Yovany, informing us that the Tribal Council had awarded scholarshiops to 17 students to continue their education past the 6th grade. Ten are to attend the Centro Básico in Mataderos, and 7 are to assist students living farther away to participate in the Radio (Correspondence) courses.
The Health Committee will be going to El Rosario to learn about the governance of the community clinic there This clinic is sponsored by our sister organization, New Hampshire ACTS.