Welcome to the Organization for Youth Empowerment blog! OYE is a nonprofit organization working in El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras. Visit www.oyehonduras.org to check out our official website and read up on our mission, programs, staff, etc. Come back to this site to get an insight into daily life at OYE.
As a much-loved member of the OYE family, you are receiving this spring newsletter to update you on some of OYE's most recent achievements and activities.
Five months after awarding 91 youth from Honduras with OYE scholarships, OYE has been changing lives through leadership training, capacity-building, and opportunities to participate in OYE's many creative projects and programs. From the production of the bimonthly magazine Revista Jóvenes, to a two-part environmental protection project with Disney Friends for Change, and hosting volunteers from James Madison University and American University, among other successes, OYE has remained committed to empowering all of the youth who come through its doors while having a transformative impact on the greater Honduran community.
Every day OYE is finding new and innovative ways to use education to empower youth to take hold of their futures, become leaders, and contribute positively to society. We invite you to take a look at what our entirely youth-led organization has been up to recently and what events are ahead in the near future.
The first five months of 2011 have been fantastic ones for OYE, and we hope this newsletter will provide you with a glimpse into the changes youth are inspiring here everyday in Honduras.
OYE's Spring Highlights
Global Youth Service Day
What we've been up to...
OYE has published 3000 copies of its latest edition of the bimonthly magazine Revista Jóvenes, which you can view online. The magazine features an anthology of prose and poetry from students in OYE's Reading Circle, one of OYE's newest programs.
The Reading Circle workshop, led by two local Honduran writers, took place from February to April and resulted in the creation and crafting of individual works of literature from OYE youth.
OYE received a grant from Disney Friends for Change to carry out an environmental impact project in Honduras. More than 80 OYE scholars from each of OYE's programs, led by youth scholar Fabiola Oro, joined forces on Youth Service Day (April 16, 2011) to clean up El Progreso's act...that is, to have a positive and sustainable impact on the environment. OYE scholars split up into teams to clean up the heavily polluted Pelo River in El Progreso. They worked all day under El Progreso's blistering sun in neighborhoods such as Palermo, Bendeck, Suyapa, and Penjamo. The municipality donated garbage bags, and OYE scholars filled more than 100 of them with garbage in and along the river.
OYE carried out several weeks of capacity-building classes with all OYE scholars, with sessions that covered topics like self esteem, sexuality, personal goals, and family disintegration, among other topics. OYE staff and visiting guests also offered training to the youth coordinators of OYE'syouth magazine, radio program, arts program, cultural exchange program, and sports program.
Mary Baldwin Interns with OYE Scholars
Four student interns from Mary Baldwin College completed their internships with OYE. During their time in El Progreso, the students carried out a research diagnostic with a local community, Las Mercedes, which was built for people displaced by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The interns complemented their research experience organizing a community celebration for Las Mercedes with OYE scholars, as well as a career fair, health fair, and youth mentoring program at OYE.
During the month of March, OYE hosted two groups of volunteers - 14 students fromAmerican University and 11 students fromJames Madison University. During their visit, the students learned more about the right to education in Honduras. They visited local schools and sat in on forums with teachers, students, and UNICEF workers. Also, JMU helped paint and begin repairs on a small school in the community of scholar Javier Duarte, one of OYE's youth program coordinators.
According to a recent study carried out by American University graduate student Deneysis Labrada, there is a statistically significant, positive association between OYE youth scholars' participation in OYE and their decision to continue their secondary and post-secondary education. Factors that enable OYE youth to continue with their education are the monthly stipends to pay for expenses such as books and transportation, the social network OYE provides, and support from family and friends that cannot be found in schools.
Former OYE volunteer Eduardo Martín Hermana made a generous donation to help sponsor COPA OYE, OYE's annual soccer and volleyball tournament, which will take place in June. Thank you Eduardo!
OYE's Upcoming Events
Beach Clean-Up in Cayos Cochinos: The Disney environmental project will continue into mid-May, when a team of seven OYE scholars will travel to Cayos Cochinos to carry out a beach cleanup and community outreach with an environmental tourism organization run by local youth from the Garifuna community.
COPA OYE: In June OYE will host a month-long soccer and volleyball tournament, engaging students from ten different schools who have their eyes set on the gold!
San Pedro Sula Marathon: Cheer on OYE family members Ana Luisa Ahern, Demetri Lopez, Michael Solis, and youth scholars who will be running in the San Pedro Sula Marathon in June. Click here to read their training blog!
OYE's Anniversary: On June 7, 2011, OYE turns 6! In the past 6 years OYE scholarships have changed the lives of 339 youth, with 80% of OYE high school graduates going to college when only 12% of Honduran youth do so nationally. Now that's something to celebrate!
Thanks for reading and for your continued support- none of this would be possible without you. You can make your 2011 gift to OYE by clicking here, and remember that you can follow OYE by visiting us on our blog. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can help empower Honduran youth, feel free to visit our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ana Luisa Ahern Justin Eldridge-Otero Luis Paredes Marisol Fuentes