Thursday, November 28, 2013
Reflecting on House Visits: By María de los Ángeles Mejía
For OYE, 2013 has been a very different year, full of activities with becados and their projects, which have had a major outreach and impact in other youth of the community. Personally, one of the most anticipated activities for this year has been the selection process of new becados for 2014. I think it's one of the most important and key activities to OYE as it gives us the opportunity to meet different types of youth with financial need, with desires for personal and academic growth and interest to participate and be part of our family.
As part of the selection process for new scholars, OYE´s team conducted a three-day "tour" of the city of El Progreso and surrounding area, visiting the families of the young applicants, in order to get to know their living conditions economic needs. All the visits were very revealing because in addition of learning the poverty statistics of Honduras published in reports; we saw firsthand the needs and the difficulties that families go through in order to provide food and education for their children and guarantee a decent life and future.
One of the applicants we visited was Mayly, a 15 year old, who is about to start high school. Thanks to her excellent academic performance and great financial need, she receives a scholarship to the bilingual school, where she is currently. However, the school is limited in size and does not offer high school education. In order to graduate, Mayly will need to find a new school. She aspires to study a Secretariado Bilingue in Notre Dame high school and is now pursuing a scholarship there. Her parents cannot afford this school because they are ambulatory vendors (especially of corn products), and their income is irregular. Their home provides the basics and does not even have a television. Mayly is forced to go to a nearby cybercafé cafe in order to do her homework. Additionally, she is allergic to many things but her parents lack the resources to give a proper treatment. Despite all these conditions in which Mayly has to live, it is very inspiring to see how she did not give up and she gives the best of herself to be an exemplary student.
Through the life experiences of the scholarship candidates visited, we can see that there are still young people that despite economic and social difficulties they face, they are nonconformists and don’t blame their environment. Otherwise, we could see, that they and their families are good fighters and entrepreneurs and work to continue their education and achieve their goals. This is also a reflection of how the economic situation does not affect their academic performance, as all of these young people are very smart and proactive, eager to move on and to make significant changes in their community. This year, on the call for scholarships, OYE focused more on quality than quantity of applicants, so we had few candidates. However, I am more than satisfied with the quality of young people that we had the opportunity to meet and visit because I know that they will take full advantage of the scholarship that we will give them. I am very eager to start 2014 with a new generation of leaders working towards a better future.