SOS Children's Villages has been present in Tela since a catastrophic natural disaster devastated the area and left many homeless and countless children without their parents.
Poverty is a serious threat to children and families in Tela, and SOS Children's Villages is working to support the most vulnerable in the community.
Young lives marked by natural disaster and poverty
Tela is located on the northern Caribbean coast of Honduras, nearly 300 kilometres from the capital, Tegucigalpa. The town is one of the country’s most popular beaches for Hondurans.
In 1974, Hurricane Fifi, a catastrophic cyclone, caused massive destruction in Tela and its surrounds. Five thousand people were killed, 60,000 were left homeless and many children were orphaned in the disaster. SOS Children’s Villages set up provisional shelters and started what would become a long-term presence in the area.
Children without the care of parents
Almost 40% of the population of Honduras is below the age of 15. Many of these children – as many as 150,000 – grow up alone without their parents. Orphans and unaccompanied children face numerous problems as well as the strain of having to support themselves and often their siblings. Inadequate housing and a lack of access to healthcare and education mean that childhood is a daily struggle, and children's chances of success in later life are seriously hampered.
With lone children and poor families desperate for an income boost, child labour is a widespread problem. Some children work in shoe-shining or street-selling, while others labour in the fields. Many resort to begging. Such an existence deprives these children of the opportunity to get an education and change their futures.
Children miss out on school
Residents in Tela are living in great poverty and hardship, compounded by inadequate infrastructure and lack of access to basic social services. The state is increasingly aware of these problems and is doing more and more to help.
In Tela, many orphaned children live in poverty. Since it is relatively common for children to head up households from an early age, many older siblings spend their time looking after their younger brothers and sisters, missing out on school as a result.
Our work in Tela
SOS Children’s Villages has established a presence about 4 kilometres outside the town centre of Tela to support vulnerable children and their families. For children who cannot live with their parents, several SOS families provide a stable and loving home. Our SOS children live in an affectionate family environment and grow up with their SOS brothers and sisters under the care of an SOS Mother.
When they are old enough to move out of the family home, young people move on to the SOS Youth Programme, which provides a stepping stone to adulthood. The young people live in shared, semi-independent accommodation while they complete vocational training or higher education. A scholarship programme has been put in place to make higher education more accessible to children from SOS families.
Orphaned children in Tela are now growing up with in loving SOS families. Will you support them to have a happy childhood and sponsor a child today?