August 10, 2010
This is certainly a bit different writing an update from Canada. It will take a while to get used to not sweating while typing away... As of the end of July, I am working with 3CM in Canada to strengthen the organization from this end while Raul will continue to build and strengthen the operations in Honduras. To maintain our perspective on financial efficiency for our donors, I will also return part time to the consulting work I was involved in prior to moving to Honduras 8 years ago.
We continue to have 21 boys participating in the leadership project, The Moses Project. In the last update provided some details about a scholarship that Christian won and today we're happy to announce that we will be losing one of our agricultural instructors for 1 1/2 years because he won a full-ride scholarship to study in Spain. He will obtain a masters degree in Security of Food Supply -- a topic that is very central to the training that we are providing to the participants in the project. It's always encouraging for us to see that other foundations recognize the value of the staff members we have working with our project.
We finally met with the federal agency responsible for foresty in Honduras at the end of June. They graciously agreed to come out to inspect our operation and give us direction on certifying the harvestable timber that we have planted for future sustainability of the project. They even gave us some tips to ensure that the trees grow straight and healthy.
That same day we met with Mr. Hector Vargas, a family counsellor and instructor at one of the local universities. He has agreed to provide professional development training to our house parents in the management of adolescent boys. The program is quite tough for these boys and we want to minimize the impact of interpersonal stuggles between participants or between participants and staff.
A third very encouraging meeting occured just last week. I met with a manager of the grocery products for a natural foods distributor based in Calgary. They are very interested in partnering with the project in a sustainable manner. We are investigating the opportunity to provide them with organically certified coffee to retail under their brand. This may also open the door to other products from the project such as noni -- a medicinal fruit that we have planted in abundance on the farm. It may also enable us to help out another local foundation in Santa Rosa that sells bath products as a method of raising funds to provide weekend education to youth from communities close to Santa Rosa de Copan.
We have a great event coming up this fall that we're eager to share with you: the annual Timko Charity Golf Tournament goes September 10th at the Fairmont Hot Springs Mountain Side golf course. This is a tournament that is fully sponsored by Timko Developments, meaning that 100% of the entry fees are tax receiptable upon request as all of those funds are directly transferred to 3CM for the work in Honduras. Click on the Timko logo to download information with the required registration form. Costs and sponsorship options are also included in that download.
La Roca, the youth center continues to serve the children in the Osorio neighbourhood. Melissa did a great job of covering for Lourdes while Lourdes was on maternal leave and now Lourdes is back at it again. Their next big event is the annual Children's Day Celebration, an event for which Lourdes has done a fantastic job of building up local support. It's exciting to see about 300 kids pack into a space designed for 100 - 150. We've had to move the piñatas outside for safety purposes...
Construction on the residence for the Moses Project has moved to phase 3 -- finishing off the remaining 6 bedrooms & 1 meeting room, all upstairs. The boys have all moved out of the classrooms downstairs and are living in the newly finish rooms in phase 2 upstairs.
Finally, one of our board members in Honduras found a school bus that would meet our transportation needs for the next few years. It is a 1997 International diesel short version with 33 passenger capacity. Given that the boys are currently transported in the box of our pickup truck through sun and rain, I expect we would be able to safely transport more than the North American capacity ratings. It would not only mean that the boys get to school and back dry, it would also mean that they all go in one trip instead of running two trips each direction with our pickup -- a function that is certainly taking a heavy toll on an otherwise excellent truck.
Update on our financial objectives at the moment:
$3,500 to complete payments on framing and roofing the 2nd floor
$1,000 to complete the three bedrooms for the boys to move from the classrooms.
$12,750 each quarter for payments on the land purchase (drops to $5,700 at year-end)
- Paid for this year. Next payment due Jan 1, 2011
- $20,000 to complete the remaining 6 rooms upstairs for future program participation expansion and to host those
visiting in October.
- We have a sponsor willing to match $1:$1 to meet this target, of which we have $2,000 received & matched.
- $8,000 for a 1997 International diesel short school bus
- $3-5,000 to build and install the cabinets in the two kitchens. We already have most of the wood in rough form as we had to cut down an oak tree to build the residence.
- $8,000 per month in operations for staff, food, transport, materials, education, etc.
We appreciate your prayers and if you have any great ideas or are willing to share your blessings with these future leaders that we are raising up in rural Honduras, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, check out our Fundraising Campaign or Donate pages to get involved. See the Donate page to find out how Alberta residents can get 50% of their donation back (or simply double up your donation...).