Adapting lesson plans despite the coronavirus pandemic

The «I return, learn and stay» project in Honduras is helping children and youths reintegrate after failed attempts emigrate. So far, more than 100 children and youths have received individual support with their journey back to school.

The project has so far helped more than 100 children and youths reintegrate at school.

Given that many children and youths in Honduras lack prospects for the future, many try to emigrate to the USA. The dream of starting a new life there is shattered for many before they even arrive. The result is a return to a reality in which they have missed several months of lessons, were separated from their families and friends and were exposed to discrimination. Overcoming these hurdles by themselves verges on the impossible for many who return. It is precisely here that the project run by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation intervenes by providing the necessary psychosocial support and making returning to ordinary life a little bit easier. «More than 100 returning migrant children received support as part of this project to help them reintegrate in school,» says Ligia María Aguilar Domínguez, Education Officer for the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation in Honduras. She believes it is important to prevent children from dropping out of school entirely.

A positive impact despite the crisis

The project is also dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic that have affected Honduras. The Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation created a special project in response to the impacts of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. It involved distributing food parcels to 53 returning migrant families. Despite political instability and strikes in every sector of the economy, by working together with our partner organisation Comisión de Acción Social Menonita, we were able to approve an altered curriculum for returning migrant children. The modifications apply to students in the 7th to 9th grades and will help the youths with their reintegration. «This is a huge step forward that we can be very proud of in Honduras,» declares Ligia María Aguilar Domínguez. Given that schools and universities had to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, creative approaches to education were required. Teachers were largely able to continue their professional development in virtual classrooms. Students were also offered psychological support over the phone.