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December 10, 2012
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

Graduation #4

How time flies! Another group of 8 young men have completed 3 years of intensive training. I remember the first week these guys came to join the project and, as a group of us were driving to town, one of the boys told me the story of his uncle escaping an evening assault by drug runners on his home near the Guatemala border. His uncle had run out the back door and put his cowboy hat on a fence post while he squeezed through the wires. With lead flying in the dark, his hat obviously showed up better than he did because when he grabbed it from the other side of the fence to continue his escape - his hat had bullet holes in it and he had none!

Aldubi, told this story the same way I would expect my son to tell a story about coming across a bear while camping or something like that -- exciting, but somewhat to be expected. With the increase of violence and the drug cartels in Honduras, it is more critical than ever that Honduran youth see real opportunity to do something with their life or they become cannon fodder for the cartels. We need your help to provide that opportunity.

What are the notable achievements of this year?

As you know, the Moses Project isn't just to provide opportunities for the boys, it is to create leaders that will impact their communities and drive the next level of development in their home towns. Other organizations have also recognized the quality of youth that we bring in to our programs, as two of our boys have been flown to 10-day world youth congresses by Oxfam International and three of our boys were flown to Washington to participate in a development congress designed for youth from Latin America and the Carribean. In each case, the boys had to complete applications personally, backed up by our recomendations regarding their participation with our projects.

This year, we had the best agricultural production in the six years of the project. Finally, we put into use about 4,000 lineal feet of drip line to teach low water consumption irrigation and the resulting veggies were fantastic. (See the June 11 report for more details on agricultural production).

On top of strengthening the support from Minerales del Occidente for program supplies, Raul and the team won the cooperation of a foundation, named CEPUDO, that donated 35 sheep to the project along with the funds to build an enclosure & feeding system for them. The way the donation works is that after 1 year, we are required to return 35 sheep to the donor -- whether they are lambs or ewes. This means that we should end up with 35 - 50 sheep by the end of one year for breeding, eating and sales.

Raul and the team also initiated a partnership with IHCAFE (the national institute of Honduran coffee) to improve and increase the production of coffee on the farm, as well as timber -- a commodity we see as critical to the sustainability of the project. IHCAFE is interested in the timber because it aligns with two of their objectives: to assist in forms of shade for Honduran coffee and to combat increasing deforestation.

Why is your support so essential? Each of the boys in this project carry their own story. Many have never had a bed before - especially one on which only THEY were expected to sleep. Many know what hunger really means. Most have experienced severe violence to some immediate family member if not to themselves. MOST IMPORTANTLY, most never thought life would change.

When these boys come to the Moses Project, they are putting themselves out there for rejection (not all applicants make it) and they certainly put themselves in for three tough years of training. Their lives become a disciplined experience from 6:30am to 10:30pm each weekday and then on Saturday mornings they're cleaning rooms and doing laundry while our children sleep in or watch cartoons.

And when they're done, they leave with confidence, self respect and a lot of abilities. They not only know if somebody is doing an electrical job incorrectly - they know how to fix it. They know carpentry. They know how to weld. They know how to raise chickens (in quantity), fish, sheep and rabbits and look after them when they're sick. They know how to make the most of a small piece of property and little water. They know how to look you in the eye and say "Yes, I can do that. Select me."

This past year we had 30 boys in the project and it isn't cheap. They continue to grow more of their food each year, and by increasing sourches of revenue through fish, sheep, coffee & future timber, they are continuing to increase their contribution to cover the costs of their education.

What can you do to help? As always, this project survives and thrives on the support of extraordinary people like you. 3CM does not keep any of your donation to cover overheads in Canada. Here are some examples of how you can be a part of the solution in Honduras:

We appreciate your prayers, and if you have any great ideas or are willing to share your blessings with these future leaders that are rising up in rural Honduras, please contact us at phil@timko.ca. Alternatively, check out our Donate page to get involved. Also see the Donate page to find out how Alberta residents can get 50% of their donation back (or simply double up your donation...).

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