06/30/09 - Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forced into exile in the early morning of June 28th by military troops who broke into his palace and placed him on a plane to Costa Rica. The Honduran congress appointed Roberto Micheletti to replace him as leader until regularly scheduled elections next November.
Zelaya, whose term was to end in January 2010, was democratically elected. However, Micheletti claimed that the Honduran congress and the courts legally removed the president because of attempts to extend his rule. The Honduran constitution limits presidents to one four-year term.
The 35-member Organization of American States (OAS) and leaders around the world, including President Barack Obama, are calling for Zelaya’s reinstatement. The OAS has announced a meeting on Tuesday, June 30th, to address the crisis. Its charter bans nations facing "the unconstitutional interruption of democratic order." Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, some of whose policies Zelaya sought to emulate, said he would "overthrow" Micheletti.
SOS in Honduras to Help Children and Families Facing Political and Civil Unrest
Military coups used to be very common in Central and South America. Political turmoil can have a profound effect on a country’s poor families, especially children. SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest charity devoted to providing loving homes to orphaned and abandoned children, has been in Honduras for almost forty years.
Child from SOS Village in Honduras
Honduras is one of Latin America’s poorest nations. Whenever its economic and political situation has declined, its number of orphans has grown. SOS has seven Children’s Villages in Honduras, including one in the capital of Tegucigalpa. The organization also runs schools, youth facilities, vocational training centers, a clinic, and social centers where SOS staff counsel local families and provide daycare so mothers can work.
In 2005 SOS Children’s Villages-Honduras started to operate family strengthening programs. These aim to educate families about parenting so that they can raise their children within a caring family environment.
SOS also assists Honduran families during natural disasters. When Hurricane Mitch devastated vast parts of the country in 1998, SOS provided emergency relief to 3,000 families by offering food, medicine, temporary shelter for children and mothers, and financial help to rebuild lost homes.
If you would like to help a child in Honduras feel secure through a stable home and a promising future, consider sponsoring an SOS child.