SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Honduras).

Tela is a port city located on the northern Caribbean coast of Honduras. The region is one of the most popular holiday resorts on the north coast of Honduras. However, just like in other parts of Honduras, poverty, crime and gangs are part of everyday life for many children, young people and families living in Tela. In 2022, Honduras was still Central America’s most deadly country. Children are at risk of violence and exploitation. Although the Honduran government has implemented a number of projects to help vulnerable children in Northern Honduras, there is still great need for further support.

Since 1977, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tela.

Of the rural population lives in poverty

Poverty and gangs

Violence and crime flourish in poverty-stricken areas like Tela and its surroundings. In many cases young men turn to crime or join gangs – many do not see an alternative future that is free from violence. Vulnerable children in the region are often groomed by the gangs. They start off with small gifts and attention in return for their involvement in a gang related crime. Boys as young as six are recruited as lookouts, making deliveries or collecting extortion money. Girls as young as eight are sexually exploited

Of women experienced sexual violence as children

Children at risk of sexual violence

Around 16% of women have experienced sexual violence before they turned 18 years old. In fact, the average age when girls experience such incidents was 13 years old. Although the prevalence of sexual exploitation is higher among women, men are subjected sexual violence too. While girls experience their first sexual incident at the age of 13, young men are more likely to experience it at a later age of 16-17. The most common first perpetrator for 18-24 year old women was a family member (46%). However, for 18-24 year old men it was a friend (44%).

Your support makes a difference for children in Tela

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children and young people have been growing watermelons. One of their favourite ways to eat them is to shape them into ice lollies and put them in the freezer (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Honduras).

How your support helps in Tela

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.