Young Leaders Take Action
Pequeños reach out to local impoverished community.
August 31, 2011 - Honduras
For many pequeños, before coming to NPH, there was hunger–empty stomachs, the hunt for food or money to buy it, and the uncertainty of when their families could feed them again. At Rancho Santa Fe, children receive three full meals a day, but in the nearby, impoverished community of Talanga, less-fortunate children continue to suffer the effects of hunger and malnutrition.
The NPH-sponsored children’s soup kitchen in Talanga, or Comedor Infantil, attempts to alleviate the suffering of poverty for many families in the area by providing children a daily meal and multi-vitamin. DeeDee McCormick, NPH volunteer community worker at the Comedor Infantil, also supports the neighborhood in public health issues such as parasites, hand washing and tooth brushing; serves as a liaison to the NPH surgical brigades and clinics; brings weekly milk deliveries; and even works with local leaders to ignite grass-roots support.
Now the Comedor Infantil has inspired a new collaborative partner: the pequeños of Youth in Action at Rancho Santa Fe. Last week, members of the NPH leadership group volunteered to spend their Saturday helping to relocate the kitchen to a new building, paint shelves and cribs, and most importantly, form bonds with the local children. Celeste, director of the leadership program, says about the pequeños’ experience, “Going to work in the Talangan community got their wheels turning. Two of the kids recalled, years before their lives at NPH, going to kitchens like the Comedorto receive food. It was a special kind of experience for them to serve at an establishment like the one they used to receive help from. Not only does it help them remember where they came from, but it also really helped them relate to the kids.”
Community service is an important pillar to the hardworking members of “Youth in Action” at NPH Honduras. “We joined this group so we can help our friends, our Ranch and our community,” says Richardson, a pequeño in his year of service. Through opportunities such as volunteering with the Comedor Infantil, our youth have the opportunity to discern just how much good they can create with fresh ideas, a willingness to help, and an understanding of the communities that they came from. In addition to leading their peers in service, Youth in Action is eager to develop their own home with leadership retreats, a forum for problem-solving, and working as true representatives for the ideas of their friends. “We are the voice of the Ranch,” comments Richardson.
Although children at NPH may no longer be in want for food, they well understand the horrible feeling of hunger that many other Hondurans continue to experience. The group looks forward to their future endeavors with the Talangan community, as well as other outreach projects. The initiative spirit of Youth in Action to give back to such Honduran communities, demonstrates their ability to build on their pasts, embrace their opportunities and turn ideas in to action for their own people.