Living below the poverty line, there are children whose only meal each day is the one they received at their Compassion child development centers, which were required to close mid-March due to government quarantine restrictions in Honduras. Compassion center staff sprang into action to distribute groceries to these vulnerable families but found their delivery attempts blocked by local authorities enforcing the stay-at-home order.
Thankfully, the permission they needed was granted — and the authority came from the country's leader himself!
“During our capital city’s lockdown because of the COVID-19 emergency, the President of Honduras meet with some non-governmental organizations, including Compassion,” said Compassion Honduras National Director Yolanda Rodas. “He wanted to oversee how the most vulnerable populations are been addressed during the emergency. We let him know about the role of Compassion nationwide and our response to more than 10,900 children's families. We managed to get permission for our staff to deliver groceries to the children.”
With President Hernández's permission, authorities granted access to church partner staff to deliver supplies, provided they took precautions like wearing disposable face masks and rubber gloves. Because of this, they were able to reach the most vulnerable children.
“One of the Compassion centers is located in a neighborhood with a high rate of suspected coronavirus cases and was declared a no-trespassing area,” said Rony, a Compassion Project Facilitator. “Police officers were at the entrance of the neighborhood to block visitors. Many of our children were trapped there with no food at all. After explaining to police about Compassion and the church’s role on behalf of the children, they allowed us to distribute the groceries.”
As staff delivered provisions, including food and hygiene supplies, the families' reactions were very moving.
“One of our Compassion-assisted children is called Ivis. His grandmother, Reina Guerra, broke down in tears when we delivered the groceries," says Ninfa, director of a local Compassion center. "They had run out of food and has no one to turn to. If not for Compassion’s rapid response, Ivis and his grandmother would have been left adrift.”