Annual report 2019: Central America27.05.2020 - 16:15 | Veronica Gmünder
The people of Honduras are not happy. Last year, this discontent prompted thousands of people to take to the streets and demonstrate. The protests were aimed at President Juan Orlando Hernández.
“President Narcos must go”, they cried angrily. The president is accused of involvement in drug trafficking on a large-scale and money laundering. In May 2019, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in the USA investigated Hernández and some of his closest advisers.
It is not only the strikes that kept the country in suspense, but the continued migration as well. Thousands made their way to the north in order to find a better life in the United States. Around 36 000 people, many of them children and youths, have left the country since autumn 2018. The American president sent US soldiers to the border, who stopped these new arrivals and returned them to their native country. Many attempts to emigrate therefore ended in failure. “The government and civil society do not know what to do with the returnees,” reports Magda Pérez, Country Representative of the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation. This is precisely where the “I return, learn and stay” project comes in. It gave many desperate children new prospects by providing them with psychological support and re-integrating them in the school system.
A nationwide success can be celebrated in Guatemala. Employees of the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation and its partner organisations devised a guide or local teaching plans which is now used nationwide. “We are very proud that we were able to reach many more Guatemalan children through our work and that they were able to benefit from it,” Country Representative Marie Dermont notes with satisfaction.
6026 children benefited from their teachers having better training: the majority were found to have improved maths, reading and writing skills.
308 teachers underwent advanced training in child-centred teaching methods and were supported in using them in the classroom.
119 parents were involved in shaping the development of locally adapted teaching plans through focus groups.
7140 children and youths participated actively in decision-making processes in their schools.
722 mothers and fathers were involved in parents’ associations and worked together with the children on the pupils’ councils on yearly action plans.
29 boys and 38 girls who had returned having attempted to emigrate were re-integrated into classroom teaching.
7218 children and youths benefited from our project work in 68 schools.
2348 parents were involved in workshops on child rights, child protection or the importance of reading and maths skills and were familiarised with means of preventing violence.
Six schools set up their own “Committee for peaceful coexistence” in order to stand up to violence in schools.