National Congress President Juan Orlando Hernandez Praises AJR Activities for Youth
December 14, 2011
National Congress President Juan Orlando Hernandez (fourth from right). To his right are Mauricio Cruz, USAID Honduras D&G Officer, Lidia Calix, Volunteer, Youth Movement Against Violence, Salvador Stadthagen, AJR Director. To the left of Hernandez are Zonia Zacapa, USAID Honduras D&G Officer, Edgardo Martinez Minister, FHIS-Honduras, Alejandra Hernandez, Coordinator, Honduras Youth Against Violence, and Brioni James, Director, USAID Honduras D&G Office.
In Honduras there are 25 Por mi Barrio (For my Neighborhood) Outreach Centers, located in 5 cities of the country. These centers have become a light of hope for those communities most affected by violence, particularly for their youth who are always searching for positive opportunities that can prepare them for their lives. In the past months, several politicians, artists, diplomats, and religious personalities have visited the Outreach Centers.
This October, the USAID/AJR Outreach Center located in the community of San Martin, in Honduras’ capital, was visited by National Congress President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and a group of advisers and ministers of the Government of Honduras. The USAID/AJR project is implemented by Creative. Previously, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, along with Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez, participated in the inauguration of the Brotes Nuevos (New Sprouts) Outreach Center in Puerto Lempira. Likewise, the US Ambassador to Honduras participated in the inauguration of two Outreach Centers and visited a third one located in the conflict-torn area of Chamelecon in San Pedro Sula.
After learning about USAID/AJR’s work with Maria Auxiliadora (Salesians) Parrish, an implementing partner, President of the National Congress Hernandez was surprised by the high number of youth volunteers from the community who offer their time to benefit prevention efforts. During his visit, Hernandez also viewed the computer, art, and academic studies workshops that are available to youth at the outreach centers. One of the highlights of the visit was a paintings exhibit by youth who attend the San Martin outreach center. Representatives of the Youth Movement Against Violence in Honduras also presented a video on how violence is perpetrated in Honduras; the National Congress President invited them to present the same video to the 128 congressmen of the National Congress during an official meeting.
Recently in Honduras, a tax to address the growing demand for funds to combat violence has been approved. According to the Honduras National Congress President, prevention represents a paramount factor to reduce violence indices. During his visit he affirmed that a percentage of the funds of this tax will be assigned to prevention. “We have loved this model and we can see the results in the change of attitude of youth and in the many opportunities that these communities provide,” Hernandez said.
— David Medina with translation by Carlos Muñoz Burgos