January 1, 2018
Here are nine moments where we saw change in 2017!
9. Strong Women program: This year, in one of our newer community programs, we worked with two communities of women to facilitate conversations about self-esteem and empowerment, and help share the tools and support to identify and respond to abusive home situations. Together with programs for families and impact clubs for youth, our work is strengthening families and building bridges of trust in Honduran communities.
8. Changing the Dialogue on Child Abuse: Our work to protect young survivors of sexual assault, abuse, and trafficking has seen great success this year. Our brave investigators were able to crack investigative puzzles that baffled police, leading to the identification and eventual arrest of serial criminals. Beyond individual cases, our staff have visisted schools, hospitals, and courtrooms across the country to change the dialogue and improve best practices for responding to these horrific cases in ways that support and do not re-traumatize the survivor.
7. Social Security Scandal Microsite: Hundreds of hours went into this exhaustive summary of one of Honduras’ worst corruption scandals in recent years. Revistazo, AJS-Honduras’ Spanish-language new site has earned hundreds of thousands of views this year for its insightful and in-depth reporting, which shines a light on corruption scandals and serves as a basis for community advocacy.
6. Instinct for Life Global Campaign: In an initiative that spans all of Latin America, AJS was chosen to represent Honduras in an effort to raise awareness of high levels of homicide and violence and facilitate coordinated anti-violence efforts. Thousands of people have attended our Instinct for Life events, laying the groundwork for a multi-year campaign in Honduras.
5. Political Advocacy: In the lead-up to a complicated election, AJS met with leaders from every political party and called on them to be transparent and prioritize violence prevention and governability in their administration. We also launched a national movement called “3 de 3” to encourage candidates for office to disclose information about their backgrounds, finances, and plans for government. Our political efforts have been led by empowering youth to join the cause of peace and transparency.
4. Community-led Audits: In a new initiative that blends our community programs with high-level government advocacy, this year we mobilized dozens of community members to be a voice for change in their communities. We trained community members in the tools they needed to audit their local schools and health centers and hold them accountable, and were able to share these audits with authorities in the government ministries of Health and Education.
3. Baseline Studies on Government Ministries: Three years after we launched a bold new plan to audit government ministries and hold them accountable for implementing improvements, we have completed improvement plans for five of the most important government agencies in Honduras. Our intervention has already resulted in positive change, for example, in dramatic improvements in the Property Institute. A study sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation found that more than half of government employees felt corruption was decreasing.
2. Expanding Peace and Justice: Our methodology to reduce community violence has gained attention everywhere from the New York Times to the streets of Chicago. Now after 12 years of working for justice in some of the country’s most difficult murder cases, we have a chance to replicate our success in a larger area. This year, Honduras’ National Police announced that it will adopt our groundbreaking methodology in communities across the capital city, responding to the needs of hundreds of thousands of Hondurans.
1. Reforming the Honduran Police: As the second year of the reforms in the Honduran National Police winds to a close, we see fundamental changes in the police force that will make a lasting impact. Over 4,000 officers in total were removed from the force and replaced with nearly 5,000 well-trained, highly-vetted new recruits. In constant media appearances, and frequent trips to Washington, AJS leaders have advocated for a transparent, well-managed force that responds to the needs of the Honduran people. AJS was also involved in the writing of two new laws that were passed by the Honduran Congress, and help ensure that these positive changes are made permanent.
AJS’s work in Honduras is made possible through the generosity of donors from around the world. To learn more about who we are, visit our about us page, sign up for email updates, or contact us directly. Together we can do justice in Honduras!