In February of 2016 The World Orphan Fund launched a new transition program in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to help orphaned children reintegrate into Honduran society. Very few orphanages have a transition program and the results can be tragic. Children leaving homes without marketable skills or transition support have an alarming failure rate, resorting to crime, prostitution and gangs simply to survive.
Cathrine Sorenson, who began working with children, youth, adults with special needs and the homeless in Denmark in 2004, will oversee the program. She recently oversaw the Youth Community and Transition Project at Orphanage Emmanuel in Guaimaca.
The new program seeks to prepare children to be confident and competent young adults who can responsibly take care of their own lives.
The system will consist of smaller houses with room for four youth each, with separate houses for girls and boys. Each home will have a house supervisor who will be a Christian role model and someone they can come to with questions or problems. Supervisors will be young adults studying or working while living in the house and therefore show how to manage a life with studies or job by example. They will live at the house full time for free and be paid a small salary.
In addition to the two houses, the program will eventually have satellite apartments where youth will live in pairs in different areas of Tegucigalpa. Some will be able to move directly into the satellite apartments, while others will spend at least 6-12 months in the transition homes. All youth, regardless of where they live and their academic level, will have a tutor connected to help them in their daily life and in their studies or job situations.
Youth will stay connected to the program through their entire study or until they feel ready to stand on their own, but are expected to to live on their own within the first year. They will be expected to find employment and contribute toward their own living expenses.
The program, begins it’s second year in August of 2017. Annual funding need: $150,000.