Sacrificing hours from their busy weeks, volunteers use simple information-gathering instruments to record things like how many days schools meet for class, how many classes are taught, and for how long, whether the school has textbooks and materials, and other issues important to children’s education.
AJS began confronting community violence with a single investigator and a single lawyer, both of whom acted as trusted bridges between victims of violence and the judicial system, helping victims navigate the complicated path to justice. Individuals may not have trusted the police, but they grew to trust AJS, who knew them personally, supported them with emergency needs, and even prayed alongside them.
“Who knows the story of David and Goliath?” asks Dolores Martinez, who coordinates AJS’s community engagement and auditing project. All twenty of the participants in plastic chairs arranged in a circle raise their hands. With the few small stones of advocacy, oversight, and accountability, she tells them, they can bring down the giant of corruption that is limiting the public education system in Honduras.
In a new partnership with the Catholic Church in Honduras, AJS is training dozens of parents how to strengthen family ties, how to teach values, and ideas for properly administrating discipline.
“It’s true that young people are the future, but our work should start now,” says college senior Bianka Cabrera, sharing how she’s being part of the solution in Honduras.
In a neighborhood where many parents worry about crime, gangs, or drugs influencing their children, Cesar stands out as an example. He graduated from high school, and has plans to continue studying and working. He volunteers in his church and in community service projects. “The (impact club leaders) have been a part of my life for 10 years,” he said, “I am the person I am today thanks to them.”
Sometimes AJS’s work in communities leads to opportunities to provide services beyond our regular programs, like this literacy class that a volunteer holds in one of AJS’s target communities. In this story, she shares about an indomitable woman who overcame the idea that she was too old to learn and learned to sign her name for the first time.
A community visit with AJS staff