Rural poverty in Honduras is among the most severe in Latin America. Approximately 53% of the population is rural, and it is estimated that 75% of the rural population lives below the poverty line, unable to meet basic needs. The country still has high rates of population growth, infant mortality, child malnutrition and illiteracy. These and other social and economic factors reflect its status as the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti. (source: IFAD)
Gracias is a non resident school built to train youth living in the Gracias area in the state of Lempira, Honduras. The youth in this impoverished area of Honduras have no opportunity to develop into employable workers without a training center to launch them into apprenticeship status. By increasing the size of the present facility by 4 times, they will be able to train young boys and girls in pre- apprenticeship courses. The trades taught will be tourism, business, sewing, computer and hand- craft skill training as well as welding, carpentry and electrical.
Students sewing at Gracias
This training center is an excellent example of what can happen when various organizations share a common vision. Universal Outreach Foundation has funded the building materials for this 3600 square foot expansion, The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, Honduras, combined with the Rotary Club of Creston, B.C. and the Rotary Foundation International, funded the equipment for this new facility, the local people supplied the labor and the government supplied the teachers.
Ribbon Cutting at Tech. School
The local community will fund the on going operating costs and the school will manufacture retail products to offset the balance of the operating costs. This project goes to show how local people will work very hard to help the youth of their community.
UOF visited the school in October 2010 and is happy to report that the school is running as planed. It was great to meet some of the students and talk with the teachers. This is truly a community run project.