Providing shelter and care for migrant children in Honduras – November 28 2018 Providing shelter and care for migrant children in Honduras As hundreds of children are left without parental care after unsuccessful attempts to follow the “migrant caravan” to the Mexico-U.S. border, SOS Children’s Villages Honduras is caring for a growing number of unaccompanied children on a temporary basis. SOS Children’s Villages works to protect every child’s right to quality care, regardless of migration status. As hundreds of children are left without parental care after unsuccessful attempts to follow the “migrant caravan” to the Mexico-U.S. border, SOS Children’s Villages Honduras is caring for a growing number of unaccompanied children on a temporary basis. The children were seeking to escape poverty and gang violence, which are endemic in the country. From mid-October to the beginning of November, more than 2,100 children were returned to Honduras, and more than 200 of these children were separated from their families. Since mid-October, SOS Children’s Villages has provided emergency care, protection and shelter to more than 50 children awaiting reunification with their families. The children have ranged in age from 3 to 17 and have been cared for at the organization’s Santa Rosa de Copán shelter. Preparations are underway to open a second care center in the southern city of Choluteca. Many of these children became separated from their families during the difficult 1,440-mile journey, and some made it as far as Guatemala before being forced to return. This is complicating attempts to reunite the children with their families, as in many cases, the parents have left the country or their locations are unknown. Nicolas Alfaro, the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Honduras, said: “These children are entitled to care and protection under international law until they can be safely reunited with their families and loved ones. They are in desperate need of food, a safe place to live and adult protection and support. “Many of the children migrated by themselves. They left because of gang violence or because they hope to find opportunities in another country that are not available to them in Honduras. We are seeing cases of children who don’t know how to read and write and children who had to leave education to work in the fields for less than four dollars a day. “If this situation does not change, this will become a vicious cycle and these children will try again and again to leave. Most of the children arriving at Santa Rosa de Copán are defiant and say they will try crossing the border again, and they are anxious to be reunited with their families.” Child migration from Honduras is being fueled by poor living and economic conditions for young people. Schools are understaffed and lack basic resources, and the recruitment of children into street gangs—often unwillingly—is widespread, as is child drug addiction and criminal violence against children. SOS Children’s Villages has been caring for unsupported and at-risk children in Honduras for 50 years. Our village communities in Tela, La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Santa Rosa de Copán, Valle de Ángeles, Choluteca and Tegucigalpa offer a family upbringing to hundreds of children who have lost parental support. You can find out more about sponsoring a child in Honduras here. About SOS Children’s Villages SOS Children’s Villages USA is part of the world’s largest organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and vulnerable children in 135 countries, including the United States and 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. SOS Children’s Villages’ comprehensive approach—strengthening families and communities, providing long-term care for children, educating and empowering youth, and advocating for children’s rights—transforms the lives of millions of children and families each year. And when humanitarian crises strike, SOS provides affected children and families with the supplies and support they need.