Since being founded in 2002, Homeless Child has worked cooperatively with Proniño, an initiative to provide street children with permanent care. Proniño then consisted of ‘Las Flores’, where boys between 6 and 15 years old were taken care of and ‘Los Grandes Heroes’ where boys from ages 15 to 19 were taken care of. Due to gang violence and threats to the safety of the older boys near the ‘Grandes Heroes’ home, all thirty boys are now living in the main property of Proniño in El Progreso, Honduras.
These boys formerly lived on the streets or other dangerous conditions and often come into our programs after experiencing serious trauma. They have suffered greatly from chronic malnutrition, long-term sexual abuse, abuse, addiction, glue sniffing, forced begging and stealing, gross neglect, and expulsion from family and society.
From the moment the children arrive at Proniño, protection and safety are offered. The first months require a lot of attention and are important for stabilizing every child. This process is crucial to help them to regain strength through good nutrition and adequate sleep. They also often need medical help.
Upon arrival, they are immediately included in a group with their peers. This group consists of no more than 10 children. This way there is sufficient attention per child and they can grow up in a familiar, homelike environment.
The children participate in individual and group conversations so that they can start processing traumas experienced before arriving at Proniño. Due to the trauma they have sustained, constant psychological care remains necessary during their stay with Proniño. The vast majority of children have a seriously damaged self-esteem. It takes years of education, confirmation and support to get the child to build up their self-esteem once again.
Following their arrival, an adequate place to attend school is quickly sought after and we try to offer children a view of a better life as quickly as possible. They can also help in the vegetable garden and take care of the chickens. From the age of 15, the children can participate in the agricultural project and the vocational training in woodworking and electrical engineering. This gives the boys a slightly greater chance of entering the tight labor market in Honduras.
Once children are grounded, they bloom again. They build friendships with other children, a bond of trust with employees. They can be children again.
Ultimately, most children are able to shape their own future and lead a reasonably stable life.