Friday, March 11, 2011

Slap Your Face Friday!

I'm Looking For Your Wallet.

It’s back to the notion of giving, folks! I know I know…Christmas is SO LONG AGO!! Who even cares about giving in March? And why do I keep asking you to give more more more?? Well, because I just do.

And anyway, Karma rewards those who if there's something you want, you better get to giving.

Today I’m going to talk about children in Honduras, which is a place NOT in America, and therefore really hard for most people to comprehend. We have poverty in America. We have children who need education too. Why help a Honduran child?

Let me tell you something I haven’t made up, for once.

Located between Guatemala and Nicaragua, Honduras is a country slightly larger than the state of Virginia, with just about the same number of citizen residents as Virginia. This is something that’s extraordinarily hard for Americans to wrap their brain around. In most of the world places the size of our states are sovereign nations unto themselves.

That means I have to imagine that my state of Ohio's government is my ONLY government, and the Governor is my President, who may or may not have been “elected”. My state court is the Supreme Court and I have my own currency not tenderable in Kentucky, the nation just a stone’s throw from my front door. I have to imagine that the language spoken in Ohio is most likely completely different than the language spoken in Kentucky or Indiana, and I cannot look to a bigger government body to help or support me. There is no "interstate highway system" because Michigan's President doesn't care about roads. So, if Ohio doesn’t have it or provide for it, I don’t have it.

This is almost unimaginable because I belong to a nation made up of 50 massive states, full of overwhelming possibility; a nation with a singular and unique “national consciousness” where we all buy into a single ideal. Imagine the CONTINENT of Europe being one country made up of the states of Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France…. Frankly, this would scare the hell out of most Americans. We depend on the very HUGENESS we don’t even rationally or consciously acknowledge we have.

This alone should open our hearts to the rest of the world. We’re so much bigger than them and they can use our giant help.

There is an organization operating in Honduras called OYE, which according to their website, “is a youth-led organization that develops the leadership and capacity of at-risk Honduran youth. OYE’s integrated development approach combines academic scholarships, youth capacity building, and community engagement to inspire and equip young people with the awareness and skills they need to take control of their own lives. The final goal is the empowerment of socially conscious youth who will emerge as leaders and agents of positive change in the Honduran community.”

How great is that? OYE isn’t asking you to do anything. They’re asking for something so small but so powerful. OYE needs YOU to help give a child a scholarship to step-up, to give them a CHANCE. The work is left to the child, because what is more empowering for a child than helping him or herself?

“Once a year, OYE awards scholarships to enthusiastic, self-motivated, low-income students so that they may continue their education while supporting their families. The number of scholarships has grown more than 36% every year.”

Students use these scholarships to “to complete their high school and university studies through the generous support of donors that contribute to their scholarships. OYE recipients hope to not only create a better future for themselves and their families, but to also gain the tools to create a better future for their country.

This is Yarli- her “experience at OYE has had an undeniable affect on her life and professional trajectory. The monthly scholarship money helps her to concentrate on her studies and covers costs for things like books and transportation to and from school. If it were not for OYE, she would be struggling to support her studies financially.” –From the OYE blog

OYE is so worthy of the little support it needs to thrive and exemplifies the Proverb:  Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Matt Trybus, Access Specialist at James Madison University’s Office of Disability services, OYE volunteer and board member, says "During my first trip to Progreso, we spent the week with a founder of Organization for Youth Empowerment. We became fast friends as we have much in common, particularly that we want to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. OYE aims to build a larger youth movement, where young people have a space to speak and listen to each other. Through financial and individual support, students experience academic success, as well as self-sufficiency through programs that focus on education, health, economic development, sports, art and culture. The goal is to create youth leaders who are agents of positive change in Honduras."From the JMU website.
Please visit two sites:  and to see more of what this group does, because they do so much more than I've been able to share here. They're a truly amazing organization. 

We must embrace the uniqueness of our collective consciousness as Americans, or Canadians who also live in a large and collectively "ideal-ed" country, and use it to help in the places where children just need a step to the door.  If we take them to the doorway and give them confidence, they can walk out on their own and do incredible things for themselves. They can change their country's future.

*Photo credit today goes to the OYE blog and website. GO TO THEM, LOVE THEM!! And help a kid dammit.
*Comic came from a Google image search. Don't waste your time THERE, go to OYE!

While you're at it, remember the Red Cross right now. Japan and the west coast of Canada and the Americas may need some help too....we got this covered, right?

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