Tag Archives: UNICEF Honduras

The photos in my mind

24 May

“A picture is a poem without words.”

~ Horace

There’s been many a time I’ve found myself wistfully longing to use my camera here in Honduras. I’ve come across many interesting and fascinating sights, even in poor old ‘dreary’ Tegus. 

However it’s often not safe for me to take out a camera, and it’s never wise to use your cel phone in public, even if it’s only to snap a quick photo. Mobile phones are thief-magnets and being robbed is not on my ‘to do’ list.

CameraIn any case, I’m rarely out on the streets. Most of the sights I see are from inside my host-mum’s car or during the taxi ride to and from work. There have been countless perfect photo opportunities that have flashed past me in a blur.

One of the few times I’ve actually been on foot in Tegus was when I visited a marginalised barrio with TECHO. Despite being in one of the poorest areas in town I actually felt quite safe.

I had my camera with me, but it felt wrong to be strolling around taking photos. We weren’t there to play tourist, we were there to help. So once again I kept my camera in my bag.

I wish the photos in my mind would always remain as clear as they are now. A picture paints a thousand words after all. It seems a shame they will slowly fade with time, but I guess it can’t be helped.

UNICEF Honduras recently published a photo book, Retratos de Vida: Niños, niñas, adolescentes y mujeres de Tegucigalpa (Life Portraits: Children, adolescents and women of Tegucigalpa). It contains images of Tegus that are both beautiful and saddening.

The book’s aim is to raise awareness of the living conditions that stop these women and children from living a violence-free life. It’s well worth a look.

It also includes many sights similar to what I’ve personally seen, but haven’t been able to document photographically myself.

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CPO, you had me at hello

28 Jan

“UNICEF trabaja en Honduras sobre la base de un Programa de Cooperación que firmó con el gobierno de la República a finales de 2011 y que se elaboró de acuerdo a la situación de la infancia en el país centroamericano..”

~ UNICEF Honduras website

I’ve been barely able to contain my excitement since receiving my full AFS Community Project Organisation (CPO) details the other week. I’ve known for a little while now that I’ll be volunteering with UNICEF Honduras, I just wasn’t sure in what capacity.

I now know that I will be working with their communication team to support their advocacy and social communication program. The main objectives of this program are to promote children’s rights and to develop communication strategies.

The role will involve office work as well as occasional fieldwork on weekends, where I imagine I’ll be able to see UNICEF’s projects in action. This will be a great way for me to learn about the challenges the country faces and also see a side of Honduras I probably wouldn’t get to explore as a tourist.

The type of work I will be expected to assist with could include tasks such as conducting training, developing communication materials, and supporting virtual networks. I found my supervisor’s UNICEF profile online and I’m really happy that I’ll have the opportunity to work with someone so experienced. I definitely think I’m going to learn a lot.

I’ve deliberately tried to keep my existing work world and the blogosphere separate, however it’s worth noting here that I currently work as a communication and media officer. So to say that the CPO I’ve been assigned to suits me to a T, would be a slight understatement. Hello dream job!

I’m excited about the placement but also a little nervous. I think I’ve got the skills and qualifications to be an enthusiastic and productive volunteer; I just hope I can live up to any expectations the team might have. Wish me luck!

 

Impatient Em is impatient

30 Dec

“…of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”
~ Khaled Hosseini

For those wondering about what sort of work I’ll be doing in Honduras, where I’ll be living and what my host family will be like… Join the club! I’m president, treasurer and secretary.

I’m still waiting for these details to come through from AFS. In an ideal world I’d find out before I leave Australia on 13 February. The program in Honduras doesn’t start until 22 February though, so there’s actually a fair chance I may  already be on the road in Mexico when the details come through.

Which will make for a rather interesting arrival: Hello Honduras! I don’t know where I’m living or what I’m doing, but I’m happy to be here.

I did find out quite a while ago which organisation I’ve been assigned to volunteer with, but I wanted to wait until I had more details before blogging about it. Seeing as I may not have these details any time soon I figure now’s as good a time as any to announce that I’ll be working with UNICEF Honduras.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with my placement. Ever since I found out I have been stalking their Facebook page and website relentlessly to try and get an idea of how they operate and what I might be working on. UNICEF’s mission is to build a world where the rights of every child are realised, so I’ll be happy to help them out in any capacity I can.

The head office is in Tegucigalpa, the capital city, so I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that this is where I’m likely to be based too. If I’m completely honest living in the capital scares me a little as:
a) I’m a bit of a country bumpkin at heart so smaller cities are my preference, and
b) it’s got a pretty ‘interesting’ reputation in terms of crime.

However I’m determined to approach everything next year with a positive attitude and a ‘let’s make lemonade’ approach.

According to Wikipedia Tegucigalpa (Tegus for short) has a population of about 1.2 million people. This makes it larger than Canberra and Blumenau (where I lived in Brazil) but smaller than Sydney or Puebla (where I lived in Mexico). So on reflection, this could be a good size for me. Not too big, not to small. A Goldilocks city size.

The other great news is that because of Tegus’ high altitude it’s still considered as having a tropical climate but it’s less humid than the lower valleys and coastal regions of Honduras. Considering my aversion to hot weather this could work out very nicely for me indeed.

As soon as I hear anything more about the sort of work I’ll be doing with UNICEF, where I’ll be living and who my host family is, you’ll all be the first to know. For the time being though we’re all just going to have to be patient. *sigh*

45 sleeps to go!