As I anticipate all that is to come in 2022 I can’t help but be amazed at how Legacy of Hope has grown and changed over the last 11 years. We have clung to our calling to help more children receive care in families, but have also adapted to meet the specific needs of the community that we serve. Let’s take a look back at where we started and how it’s going.
In late 2011 my husband and I founded Legacy of Hope and moved to Honduras with our 5 children. We began working on the North Coast in a small impoverished village, partnering with a local pastor to begin a feeding center and leadership training program. The work that we did there was so valuable, not only because of the many lives that were impacted, but because we learned so much about about the culture, how to work humbly, listen, interpret the needs and how to best serve the country and people whom we have come to love so dearly. Today, the church in that village continues to grow and impact the community, and we have taken those lessons and combined them with our calling to love and care for orphaned and vulnerable children through family-based care.
In February of 2013 our family moved to Santa Rosa de Copán, a city in the Western mountains of Honduras. Our goal was to use all that we had learned from fostering children in the US and replicate that experience in Honduras for children who could not live with their biological families. We worked with both the judicial system and local children and youth services to realize our goal of fostering children in our home. Only a few short months into our foster care journey our home was overflowing with abandoned infants, and we experienced first hand the desperate need for additional foster homes. Over the next few years other families joined us and opened their hearts and homes to care for orphaned and vulnerable children. It began the foster care movement as we know it in the Western region of Honduras.
Our foster care program has since expanded to include transitional and emergency placement homes. Legacy of Hope has grown from serving about 25 children a year to over 250. We work with children and youth services at both the regional and national level to accept placements of newborns and children up to the age of 18, and have become one of only a few certified foster care agencies in Honduras.
Our goal to provide quality educational interventions and programs to meet the needs of the children we serve has grown to include children of all ages and educational levels. We have established a partnership with the Department of Education to provide children in our care with the opportunity to continue, or begin, studying and to receive their diplomas.
Our team has grown to include many volunteers and paid staff. We continue to assure that our staff receives the most recent and relevant trauma informed trainings based on best practices. We have become a leader in our community, responding to requests by other organizations for training. Annually we offer trainings to families, caregivers and others professionals in our community and across the country ensuring that those who desperately need and want training are able to receive it.
This year, Legacy of Hope Foundation will continue our pursuit to serve with excellence, but do so while expanding our foster care program with the goal to double its size and impact. It is a big step, but also an important one, that will promote systemic change in this nation. Our team understands that there are many long days and lots of hard work ahead but we are painfully aware that the need is so great. We will not, and cannot, rest until we know that we have done our part to help each and every child find a safe and loving family.
I am so blessed by the privilege to have a front row seat to all that God is doing through Legacy of Hope. I am thankful for each one of our volunteers and staff members who dedicate themselves to serving children and families. I’m grateful for our many partners whose prayers and financial support continue to make this work possible. Cheers to all of you and another year of working together to change the way Honduras cares for orphaned and vulnerable children.