Saskatoon Airport, Canada
Julio Cesar wants to continue studying. Desperately. Talking to him the night before his graduation from the Moses Project last week, he said his mom almost died this year and the medical costs has drained his family of whatever resources they had. He was happy that he had been allowed to stay in the project and finish high school rather than being pulled to try to earn a few bucks to help his family survive. He went on that prior to entering the project, he hadn't ever considered the possibility of going to university, but after spending 3 brutal years of early mornings an late nights in the Moses Project, he's desparate to keep going. His solution is to challenge for a spot in the national university in Teguc (7 hours away) under the military officers program. The odds of success are - well, lets just say that it is not he norm for an unconnected youth from a poor rural environment to gain such a spot.
But then who would have thought that one of our students would be one of two youth picked to represent Honduras in India at Oxfam's triennial youth congress, or that 3 of our participants would be picked among 15 Honduras to represent their country at the Latin America / Carribbean youth congress in Washington DC? I think his odds are good, actually, because he has what they need: intelligence, sacrifice and a willingness to challenge the norm.
Last week I was priviledged to attend the 8th annual graduation ceremony of the Moses Project. It was made that much better by Christiane making the trek to attend the event as well, given that she was the prime source of sponsors and support for the development of the project.
This year 7 boys graduated from the 3 year challenge - but these are the first boys to graduate after spending the past year walking over the mountain each day to attend junior and high school. Ayurin and Marvin, graduates from the first and second graduating class respectively, did a fine job in coordinating and instructing the boys in the agricultural component of the project. The sheep are in good shape, chickens continue to produce eggs while others are raised for food.
The challenge remains with Nerly. When I went down in July to check on the project and meet with various parties that influence the future of the project, one of our grads from last year came in to town to visit. He didn't make it. He made it as far as the bus station and shortly after getting off the "chicken bus" from his village, he was run over by a motor bike. It destroyed his leg. The Red Cross picked him up and took him to the local hospital who determined that they were inadequate. By then we heard about it and arranged for an NGO with an ambulance to take him to the principal public hospital in San Pedro Sula (the economic capital of Honduras). The next day doctors there took a look at him and shipped him back to Santa Rosa. When Santa Rosa's doctors saw him back, they promptly put him back in transport back to San Pedro Sula telling them that they needed to install a pin (from his ankle to his knee). San Pedro's great doctors informed him that unless he could come up with the cash to buy the pin from their store, they were going to discharge him. His mom contacted us and we sent the money for the pin on Wednesday. The doctors then told him that he was a day late and would have to wait since they only operated on boys on Tuesdays. Tuesday arrived and they informed him that his leg was infected and they couldn't operate. They finally scheduled him for 3 weeks after the accident. The day of his surgery arrived... and once again he didn't. The hospital went on strike that morning. Six weeks after surgery they finally operated on him and installed the needed pin. They then discharged him with limited medicine, no splint nor cast. In the process, his mom essentially lived in the hospital with him on next to nothing since her backpack with clothes, cell and any money she had been stolen from her while sleeping early in the ordeal.
Christiane and I went out to his village with Raul after graduation. I took pictures of his X-Rays and his leg and sent them to a local doctor who cautioned us to get him to some kind of doctor who would prescribe antibiotics as he is concerned that Nerly has a good chance of losing his leg altogether due to infection. Raul is trying to arrange that yet this weekend.
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 complete their time in the Moses Project, they leave with confidence, self respect and a lot of abilities. They know how to look you in the eye and say "Yes, I can do that. Select me."
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:
- Some give $25 per month, others are able to give much more, but we really need to increase our committed monthly support base. Consider joining our monthly auto-debit supporters to support these boys.
- Sponsor a set of bedding & towels for $50
- Sponsor an egg laying chicken for $75 (this buys the chicken & looks after it for one year)
- Sponsor a batch of 100 meat chickens from purchaser through processing for $350
We appreciate your prayers, and if you have any great ideas or are willing to share your wealth large or small with these future leaders that are rising up in rural Honduras, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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...).