Sunday, March 16, 2008
Orphans in Santa Rosa de Copan
Sadly, orphanages packed with children are not uncommon in Honduras. The conditions in these orphanages vary, but the need is so great that understaffed orphanages are more the rule than the exception. Many of the children are abandoned by parents who cannot care for them, and some have been taken from their parents by the government.
Our friends in Santa Rosa de Copan (about 45 minutes from Gracias) have gotten involved in helping to care for babies at an orphanage in their city. Here is a link to Trish Ward's blog post, with pictures, about a recent visit. At this particular orphanage, there are currently 51 children, and about 30 of those are infants. Because there are not enough workers, these children are fed and cleaned, but are not held often, and they spend a lot of time in their cribs, without much in the way of toys to stimulate them.
In addition to visiting the orphanage regularly to hold and play with the babies, the Wards are purchasing items for the orphanage locally, with money sent by their supporters in the US. We have been able to donate some baby items, which were left over from our Christmas gift project. Additionally, we'll be asking for our friends in the Maryland area to collect some larger baby items, walkers, baby seats, etc, to put into the next container shipment. (We do not yet have a shipment date, we are just assuming that we will be doing another one sometime in the next six months or so.) When our next container shipment of food arrives, I expect some of that will go to help this orphanage, as well.
Allen is also hoping to pay a few women (wives of the pastors we work with, most likely) to help out with the staffing of the orphanage, so that these children will receive more human interaction and cuddling.