The Homeless Child Foundation was established in 2002 to make a modest contribution to restoring the balance between rich and poor in the world. We do this in Honduras by empowering dignity, human rights, and self-sufficiency in battered, abandoned, and vulnerable children and women who lack opportunities.
Since its foundation, Homeless Child has supported the local organization Proniño, an initiative to offer street children permanent care.
In 2004, Homeless Child decided to also support Hogar Suyapa, giving younger children from 0 to 3 years old access to care and nourishment before being lost to street life. This project is now self-sufficient and independent.
In 2007, Homeless Child decided to begin collaborating with ‘Asocación Hondureña de la Mujer y Familia’ (AHMF) to support the poorest women in the city, with a program to provide much needed contraceptives and information about women’s rights, female health hygiene. Our shared vision is that women who have a choice will have fewer children and can offer each child a better chance at a decent life.
Nevertheless, young girls in Honduras remain at high risk of sexual exploitation; usually by relatives or family friends who are either perpetrators of serious and long-term sexual abuse or sexually exploiting the girl for financial gain. In 2012, the foundation in collaboration with Proniño, was able to open a girls’ home called ‘Bellas Princesas’, where these girls are offered safety in a stable and caring, living environment.
Collaboration with Proniño
The programs for girls and street boys are developed and implemented in collaboration with the local non-profit foundation Proniño. Since 2011, an American NGO, The Children’s Home Project, has been a third partner there. They have since developed into a valuable partner.
We work closely with director Tania Canales, as well as pedagogues Elsa Alfaro and Haley Jansen to chart the needs and progress of the children being cared for and to provide for all their needs. Tania Canales, manages the foundation’s operations and coordinates the leadership of the personnel of Proniño. She provides weekly reports from meetings as well as financial administration and program reporting to our board of directors in the Netherlands.
Tania and Elsa are both employed by Proniño. Haley Jansen has been involved with Proniño for years and has been living in Honduras since 2016. Her salary is paid by an American foundation.
Our chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer and founder of Homeless Child have been able to build good relationships of trust with these “key figures” of Proniño over the years. Founder and advisor, Bas Wiersma, has lived in and visited Honduras since 2002 and maintains integral relationships with our local partners, Proniño and AHMF. The board of directors and other volunteers in the Netherlands fulfill administrative duties, fundraise, and spread awareness for the positive impacts of programs in Honduras. We maintain contact and provide support for local personnel with program funding and reporting through international cooperation.
Chairman Manon, vice-chairman Evelyne and treasurer Michael have collaborated with Proniño in a variety of capacities since 2014. They know the children and personnel of Proniño as well as the language and culture of Honduras. Every year, a member of the board is present for a few weeks to maintain this relationship and to help shape Proniño’s course for short and long term future.
Cooperation with AHMF
Since 2007 we have been working with the organization “Asociación Hondureña de la Mujer y Familia” (AHMF). The organization is led by a female doctor, Karla Mendieta, and director, Concepción Cáceres. Both are very driven and have years of experience in this field.
AHMF is a successful organization that formulates, implements and evaluates policy in a professional manner. Homeless Child provides feedback, advice and support in generating knowledge and resources for the greatest possible impact.
The founder of Homeless Child, Bas Wiersma, and the founders of AHMF, Karla Mendieta and Concepción Cáceres, maintain a close relationship through their many years of cooperation. Members of the board will also visit the organization during their presence in Honduras. While in Honduras, they meet at AHMF’s office and in the field training women and discussing progress.