In addition, we have 6 children taking English classes at Harris Communications here in La Ceiba. They go Saturday mornings, and are half-way through the 9 month program. I encourage them to speak English with me whenever we are together. There are also 5 children that are taking computer classes here in town, plus 2 more that have completed the 1 month course. These classes are all made possible by generous sponsors and other donors. We hope to continue these programs if funding is available, as this will give these kids a big break in life. There is a premium on English and computer skills here in the country.
Recently we took digital photos of all the children, that are available to send to potential sponsors. By email, we sent each sponsor a recent photo of their sponsored child(ren).
Every month, we buy gifts for those that are celebrating birthdays, with the 15th birthdays for girls being very special events. At year end there are also baptisms and 1st communions. On September 9, the children were invited by the 1st lady to the Barcelo Aquatic Park for the day, which was a big event for all of them. Then on Children's Day (September 10), the children and their "tias" (aunts) put on a special singing and dancing program, followed by the distribution of gifts from the sponsors, and cake, ice cream cones, cokes and big red balloons. We will have to buy another 115 gifts in just 3 months when Santa Claus is due. Our thanks to all the sponsors that help make these children happy with their gifts and letters. A special thanks to those that provide gift funds for children with no sponsors, so that these kids won't be left out.
Standard Fruit de Honduras is now providing 10 boxes/week of Mayan Gold pineapples to SOS La Ceiba.
During the year, we provided foam fluoride treatment and a toothbrush
to all kids between the ages of 5 and 11. We also obtained donations of
T-shirts, medicines, washcloths, rakes, tools, notebooks, school texts,
toys, etc. Through Internet contact with the Global Education Fund, we
obtained 15 boxes of beautiful books in Spanish and full color for the
library. Many of these came in multiple copies allowing use in the kindergarden.
These books provide many hours of reading pleasure, plus a real educational
experience outside of school classes. Internet connections have also allowed
us to obtain specialized, low-cost medical treatment for a number of children.
These include a young girl with crossed-eyes, another needing a replacement
eye prosthesis, a boy with kidney disease, a boy needing a hearing aid,
etc. We hope to be able to continue finding help for other children with
It is worth mentioning that the need for care of orphaned and abandoned children in Honduras has been increasing at a monumental pace in the last several years. Care facilities are unable to meet this growing demand. One of the causes is the AIDS epidemic, in which the children lose both parents, or their single mother. One of our sponsors, Peggy Gray, has helped us over the last several years in finding new sponsors.
A very special thanks to all our sponsors for their continuing support.
Saludos from La Ceiba, Dave & Anton Ashby
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