This week has been exciting. We have run our first anti-drug fair in the local schools. We have all been working hard preparing, and it has paid off, we ran two successful fairs. The focus of these fairs was good study habits. We prepared interesting and engaging activities to teach good study habits followed by games designed to test their knowledge on what they had learnt. The children were aged 6-11, which required us to adjust the material that we were presenting to make it relatable and understandable to each age group. The whole team really enjoyed our first taste of running a fair and are looking forward to running more.
The public schools in Catacamas are generally underfunded; this is due to an underdeveloped infrastructure and what seems to be corruption that prevents money going to where it is needed most. Although many children are talented and hardworking, it is unfortunate that due to lack of resources they are unable to cultivate that gift. This combined with the serious issue of drug abuse in this region makes obtaining a good education more difficult. This is why our local partner organisation Predisan has developed a scholarship programme and why we run anti-drug fairs. An education is vital for success in adult life. We believe that preventing children falling down the wrong routes, such as drug abuse is a more pragmatic approach than treating adults with addiction problems. The work that we are doing deals with the root causes of many issues that riddle Honduras, by investing our time and resources into young children we are giving them a better opportunity and giving them better options. This ultimately results in fewer young people getting caught up in drugs and gangs.
The work that we are undertaking is a small part of what is needed to make a noticeable difference in a nation, but we are moving in the right direction. If all the drug fairs that we run inspire just one young person to make a genuine positive change in their own life, then I will consider them to be a success.
Written by ICS volunteer Pritesh Pankhania