Building better habits for improved resilience in Honduras
In some high violence neighborhoods in Francisco Morazan and Yoro departments, multisectoral assistance is key to building resilience and improving well-being among children and families.
In a small space tucked away in a community center in Tegucigalpa, pregnant and lactating women and children come together to learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits. Children are learning by coloring healthy food charts, while mothers receive information about nutrients needed when pregnant and lactating from dedicated maternal health staff by UNICEF’s implementing partner Save the Children. While mothers receive supplements such as vitamins, children are given fruits and water to snack on during the coloring activities. Mothers who arrive with newborns can have them screened for malnutrition and can receive subsequent care in case needed.
Eliani, a colleague from Save the Children, supervises and counsels the children during the day. She says, ‘sometimes it is hard, children arrive at the center and they are hungry or thirsty because there is little food or no clean water at home. They need to eat and drink something before we can start the activities. Our intervention in this neighborhood is crucial as it not only teaches children healthy habits, but for some children it means safe drinking water and a healthy snack, an additional, small meal before they go home again.’
Across town, community volunteers are supporting implementing partner ADRA with the distribution of water filters and hygiene kits to over 150 people in the local community that day. Ivanna, a community volunteer, has been volunteering for a couple of months.
‘I really enjoy volunteering as it means I do something useful, I am unemployed right now and this way I can make a positive contribution to my community and stay busy’, she says. ‘It is difficult and costly to obtain clean water in this neighborhood, the water filters make a big difference for many families.’
One of the people waiting to receive a hygiene kit and water filter that day is Angela, a mother of 3. Her family consists of 7 people, and although water is available, it is not always sufficient.
‘It is expensive to buy extra, especially as food has become more expensive too. This water filter will help reduce our expenses.’
Paola, a mother of two, also says her family struggles with obtaining water and often have to buy it, resulting in additional expenses. ‘Every few days we have to buy water, but it is costly'. Most households in the area live on one income only, making frequent water purchases an added financial burden.
UNICEF, in collaboration with Save the Children and ADRA, has been providing nutrition, health, water and hygiene support to areas in and around Tegucigalpa, as well as northeastern Honduras, that are prone to violence and where children grow up in insecure environments. In doing so, UNICEF works very closely with relevant ministries and municipalities to ensure capacity building locally and continuity of services. Our multisectoral assistance is implemented to ensure that children and vulnerable families, including the elderly, can improve their resilience, strengthen well-being and reduce stress.
UNICEF would like to thank BHA/USAID for their generous contribution and support in Honduras, which is benefitting the most vulnerable children and families in high-risk communities.