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NEWS

July 1 , 2008
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras

It has been a busy month and we have good news to share. We made progress on the board level, in La Roca and Project Moses.

First, on May 25th we held a vision session with the board of APROCOLA plus a representative of the youth currently involved in Project Moses. Our objective was to determine where we were going and to set some definite targets to guide our decisions over the next few years. By clicking on the picture to the right, you can download a letter-sized pdf image of the vision that arose from that session.

Secondly, we are very excited to announce that Ing. Fredy Torres Mejia won a full ride scholarship to a university in Spain to obtain his masters degree in alternative energies. This is a fantastic opportunity for Fredy as this not only includes his education costs, but also living expenses. One condition of the application was that Fredy return to implement his new knowledge in the Moses Project -- that means that we will be able to include topics in the third year of instruction for these boys that otherwise we would have been incapable of providing. We are also very proud of Fredy as this was a competition throughout the Americas.

Fredy's fortune presented a challenge for us as in a year destined for all the interuptions presented by construction of a student residence, we were going to have to find a temporary replacement for Fredy. The solution arrived in the form of Ing. Juan Alexander Torres Mejia -- Fredy's brother who has a replica resume with an added bonus of having experience over the past 5 years as an instructor at the junior high school where the boys attend. Juan obviously has some different focusses than Fredy, but the fundamentals are identical -- same agro-industrial engineering degree, both teach at the national university in maths and agro-ind. classes. Juan is married and has two little children and we are very happy to have them join our team.

Over the break the group of boys in their second year put in a sidewalk for a village school (a school that has directly or indirectly contributed almost 25% of our participants. This project was sponsored by a recent college grad from the North Vancouver and now that the students don't have to walk through the mud to get from the street to their school, you can bet they appreciate his contribution to their school. The new group of boys did the same as their companions a year earlier and spent Monday teaching one village how to produce organic fertilizer and then on Tuesday repeated the process at another village.

The youth center, La Roca, also received upgrades over the break as we re-installed the fence around the sports court. The original fence was destroyed in a landslide when the mountain behind it gave way and came crashing down on the court -- creating a tremendous "boom" and sending a mini tidal wave racing down the street. Anyways, from Wednesday to Friday of the last week in June we put up new fencing and poured a concrete beam around the bottom to secure the fencing in place along with a cable around the top so that kids leaning on the fence doesn't destroy it as occurred with version #1. This fence was sponsored by a prior volunteer who spent a lot of hours with the youth in our center. Her donation came as a result of a fund created at the funeral of a family member -- the contributions going to buying food from the Moses Project gardens and to repairing this fence.

This past weekend, I took the second year students up to Tegucigalpa to visit the Instituto Tecnica Santa Maria -- a project somewhat similar to ours, but about 30 years ahead of us. They have 100 students in their three year program and like ours, it is a residence program where youth come from poor families around Honduras (not just the zone close to them) to study trades and junior high school. They have some differences in that their students select one trade for the three year program rather than rotating through them throughout the duration of their tenure. In addition, they study junior high right there in residence rather than going out to the public schools and their agricultural program is entirely separate (students can select: trades or agriculture). We had a great time and were fortunate to be present when a couple of their ex-alumnos presented to the entire group. They spoke of their time there, the struggles they faced in and after the program and the contribution that their program had made to their success in life. It was very encouraging. We finished off the visit with a soccer game, refereed by a referee trainer for the national soccer league of Honduras.

As always, we encourage you contribute to the development of youth here in Honduras. Whether it be a $35 monthly sponsorship for a participant in The Moses Project, a major $30,000 -capital share in the building project at the farm, or sponsoring a particular need like the graduate from North Vancouver did, we encourage you to put your blessings to use to change the future forever. Check out our Fundraising Campaign or Donate pages to get involved.

We always welcome your feedback, so feel free to contact us at phil@timko.ca.