Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vacations are Over

Greetings faithful Blog Followers,

The familiar buzz has returned to the offices of OYE! Youth are loitering with intent to learn! This Saturday is the apertura (first day of operations) for OYE's 2013 Capacity Building Classes. On top of the charlas (workshops), OYE's art, radio, magazine, and multi-media project were in full swing today. After 1.5 lagging months of planning the storm of excited youth re-energized the office. It's nice to feel alive!

What were you up to over winter break?

Luis Castro - New Scholarship Student

Luis Castro:
"Over winter break I was working as an assistant at a bakery. Bakery Gladys behind the OYE office."

Returning scholarship student Sthefanie Matute

Sthefanie Alejandra Matute Velasquez:
"Every year around  Christmas I organize a marble  tournament in my community, La Mendieta. This year over 25 kids competed in the tournament and even more volunteered to help. In addition to the marbles, we played soccer.

Returning Scholarship student Kevin Cruz

Kevin Cruz:
"I was in Yoro working during vacation. We were harvesting coffee, and finished just a few days before school started back up."

Returning scholarship student Sandra Fiallos.

Sandra Fiallos:
"Over vacation I read. There were two books. One was Porque las Mujeres Aman Demasiado (Why Women Love to Much). Es un libro muy bonito."

So now that everyone has cut their coffee, baked their bread, read their books, and played with their marbles the offices feel alive. The students are jumping into their community engagement projects and joining Dunia Perdomo for capacity building classes. Dunia, who is a former OYE scholar, is the newest team member. As Program Coordinator she has worked hard to prepare this years Capacity Building Curriculum.

Capacity Building Classes

This year OYE has divided its scholars into three distinct levels based on age and experience. Each level convened as a small focus group to select the themes most important to them. Under the leadership of Program Coordinator, Dunia Perdomo, the following themes were selected:

Level I

Valores 23-Feb
Autoestima 2-Mar
Desintegracion familiar 9-Mar
Violencia intrafamiliar 16-Mar
Noviazgo 23-Mar
Sexualidad I 6-Apr
Sexualidad II 13-Apr
Primeros Auxilios I 20-Apr
Primeros Auxilios II 27-Apr
Redes Sociales 4-May
Realidad nacional I 11-May
Realidad nacional II 18-May

Level II

Valores 16-Feb
Autoestima 23-Feb
Adicción a las drogas 2-Mar
Noviazgo 9-Mar
Sexualidad I 16-Mar
Sexualidad II 23-Mar
Embarazo en adolescentes 6-Apr
Primeros Auxilios I 13-Apr
Primeros Auxilios II 20-Apr
Profesionalismo 27-Apr
Redes Sociales 4-May
Influencia de los medios de comunicación 11-May
Política I 18-May
Política II 25-May

Level III

Inteligencia Emocional 16-Feb
Liderazgo 23-Feb
Sexualidad I 2-Mar
Sexualidad II 9-Mar
Historia de Honduras I 16-Mar
Historia de Honduras II 23-Mar
Cultura hondureña 6-Apr
Primeros Auxilios I 13-Apr
Primeros Auxilios II 20-Apr
Técnicas de estudio y creación de un curriculum 27-Apr
Oratoria 4-May
Derechos humanos 11-May
Política I 18-May
Política II 25-May

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 Project Growth

After a busy month of planning OYE is excited to have set its agenda for the new year, 2013. The annual plan entails many improvements and innovations in OYE’s system of operations.

In 2013, OYE will empower more socially conscious youth with the tools they need to become leaders of positive change in their communities. To improve upon its system of integrated development that involves capacity building classes, financial academic support, and hands on community engagement OYE has examined each individual aspect and made improvements where necessary.

The scholarship program, offering at-risk Honduran youth the resources they need to stay in school, is the heart and soul of OYE. The scholarship program is a hook that drags students and parents to OYE. In 2013 OYE is not only increasing the number of scholarships offered by 20 but improving the quality of academic programs. OYE will refine its reinforcement of formal education and ability to raise the consciousness of Honduran youth in key areas through its book club, and study circles. These aspects of the scholarship program have existed for several years, but this year they will be allocated more resources and take concrete form. Another innovation developed by OYE’s youth coordinators was to provide a space for University Entrance Exam Prep, basically the equivalent of Kaplan Prep for SATs. The students identified the need to create a space for high school students going on to college to meet, practice questions, review test taking techniques, discover their weak areas, and study to prepare for the University Entrance Exam whose score decides the career paths available to students. This is a very positive innovation on behalf of OYE and highlights why it is important to involve beneficiaries in institutional programming.

OYE’s Art, Radio, and Magazine programs are all ready to take great steps in 2013. Thanks to a great year in 2012 OYE is in a position to invest in our projects in a way that we haven’t been able to in years. Each project will be equipped with the materials and resources necessary to achieve a larger impact in the community and become more financially independent. Direct impact is the name of the game in 2013. Each of OYE’s dynamic Communications Programs will be receiving professional capacity building classes throughout the first half of the year. Entering the second half, the students will be hosting workshops and directly involving local at-risk youth from outside the OYE community.

The Art program will host youth workshops to teach a theme or technique and work with local neighborhoods to identify common needs, goals, problems, or themes and then produce a mural with a social impact.

The Radio will be working closely with local organizations to open up air space for community events and progressive youth voices. To do this OYE will train other local youth in recording, editing, and broadcasting.

Finally, the youth magazine “Revista Jovenes” is poised to begin in house production. This is a great opportunity for the youth to own every aspect of magazine production, reduce the cost of publishing, and realize new financial sustainability. The cost savings will be directing into improving the quality of the articles published and the resources available for the youth journalists.

Thanks to your support in 2012 we had a great year and are excited to have another great year in 2013. Please take a minute to browse through our links and think about why you gave to this organization in the past. We work hard to empower at-risk Honduran youth with incredible potential. Thanks to your support we can create the opportunities that every child deserves, opportunities that allow OYE scholars to stay in school and become community leaders, opportunities that prevent at-risk Honduran youth from falling into dangerous lifestyles, and opportunities that improve the whole community by nurturing the conditions to break the cycle of poverty.

If you follow Honduras in the news you are very aware that the country is worse off today than it was 2 years ago. Violence, crime, and gang activity is escalating. San Pedro Sula, just 15 minutes away from OYE, is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world due to high murder and crime rates. Honduras needs to generate more opportunities for its youth to grow into concerned and active citizens. Honduras needs NGOs, academic support, and growth in its civil society now more than ever. An institution like OYE is the best tool out there for stopping crime, violence, and gangs. More youth need to be involved in community projects, believing and participating in volunteerism and community development should be the trend not the exception. Please, contribute to OYE to invest in the youth of Honduras - lets give them the tools to change their country.