Estefano and the Mini Congresso Infantil 2017
An NPH Honduras youth takes on the task of running for congress
October 6, 2017 - Honduras
Estefano* was admittedly nervous as he took the stage, but ultimately his practice paid off. Discussing the current issues afflicting Honduran society, Estefano moved the crowd during the “Mini Congress Infantil 2017” (Small Children’s Congress 2017) event.
The Mini Congresso Infantil is a nationwide competition where children throughout Honduras give speeches pretending to run for congress and explain what they would hope to accomplish if they were “elected.” Representatives from the national university and public education administration serve as judges.
Estefano joined the NPH family in 2007 and has been one of our top students ever since. He was selected to represent the secondary school at the NPH Honduras home after speaking with a number of his academic advisors. As only a 7th grader, Estefano worked with the school librarian to craft a 10-minute speech and practice it to perfection. He was not allowed to use notes during the speech.
“I was nervous before, but now that I have done it so many times I feel better,” Estefano explained.
Estefano decided to focus his speech on the issue of violence seen throughout Honduras.
“I wanted to make my statement about a subject that a lot of people think about, but we do not talk about often. I want to show people they can be the solution to the problems we see,” Estefano explained before the event.
His approached paid off. As he led up to the conclusion of his speech audience members were on the edge of their seats.
“The soul of the people bend towards good, but all too often in homes throughout Honduras, we have seen the opposite. As a country, we all need to do our part to wash our hands of this violence.” Estefano concluded his speech to thunderous applause.
Children were not the only ones on stage. During an intermission between the conclusion of the children’s speeches and the award ceremony, the President of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ International, Reinhart Koehler also spoke to the audience.
Thanking the judges and all of the participants, Reinhart highlighted the importance of these types of events. “It is these kinds of events that shape the country and can help the future of Honduras.”
Only six of the eleven participants would go on to the national competition in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. So as the announcers had already announced five names, Estefano was nervous. When the final name announced (indicating the participant with the highest marks from the judges) was “Estefano", he was elated. The children from our home in the crowd went wild with applause.
“I am happy, honored, and thankful!” Estefano pronounced to the crowd.
In winning first place, Estefano will continue on to Tegucigalpa for the nationwide competition and may even get to meet the president and first lady. Hosting academic events at the ranch is an important part of education for the children at NPH Honduras. They allow our children to interact with the local community and demonstrate what they have learned.
*Name changed for privacy purposes.