"Should I join the gangs?" asked 11yr old Chulo
Peace clubs & homework hangouts change futures
This is one amazing story, told through four different lenses.
Connected to hope, powered by your gifts.
Meet, Chulo, Samantha, Miriam and Nahum :)
Nahum — a field technician of the Childhood Rescue Project
Right now we are heading towards La Pradera Community. La Pradera is one of the communities with the biggest presence of organized crime.
One of the kids that has suffered the worst is Gerson. From very early on his nickname was “Chulo”, he is a really charismatic and happy kid. Throughout the project, we have supported him via the 'Peace Culture' programme.
One of the topics that really impacted him was, “My name is really important.” Because he was known as Chulo, no one knew his real name. We found out his real name, it is, Gerson.
It is a beautiful name, and now he values his name and he has made it his own.
In La Pradera there are a lot of zones. One of the sectors is known as 'The Gangster' sector, and this is where Chulo and his family live. Here, the younger kids are preyed upon and join these gangs.
Chulo is one of the kids that doesn't miss a day at the community outreach centre.
The programme activities have helped Chulo become more disciplined and a kid that is really known in his community.
Known not just for what he suffered but because of his capacity to learn and do new things.
Gerson aka Chulo — Childhood Rescue program attendee
My name is Gerson David Maldonado and I’m 11 years old. When I met Miriam she brought me here (community outreach centre). And when I saw everything that was here, I said, “Wow, so beautiful.”
World Vision has done everything for us. We didn’t have any school supplies, they bought it for me, they bought me a backpack. Notebooks, pencils, colors, and right now they gave me more food supplies.
“Miriam has taken my hunger out.”
(Figure of speech meaning: to not let him starve, and gave him food.)
Sometimes I come in the afternoon and we watch movies. But they put on just movies for kids and I don’t like them. I would like for them to put a movie like Coco or something like that, not only Peppa Pig, that they put on a lot.
Maybe sometimes they can put a different movie, one of a worm or something :)
When I was 9 years old, we played football here, and we had a little tournament. And we won. That’s my happiness, that we won!
Comms official asks — "So you have made friends, how many friends have you made?"
A lot, almost all know me here now.
Miriam — Coordinator of Centro de Alcance de La Pradera
My name is Elsa Miriam Velasquez.
I coordinate the Committee of Protection and Welfare for boys, girls and youth of La Pradera Community.
We help different kids with different trainings, in particular, we helped Gerson Maldonado.
Affectionately we call him “Chulo”. In the morning he goes to his school, and in the afternoons he comes here, so we can support him in his studies.
He has no support from his parents. He was a kid that the gangs could take because he didn’t have any support.
Because he has been in 'value' workshops he tells me... “I’m not going to be like them.”
A few months ago the gangs killed a person in the community.
A 17-year-old girl and he saw how they took her life, he told me, “I don’t want to end up like this. Please support me so I can learn more.”
In the “Centro de Alcance” (outreach centre) his mind has changed, and so too, have many other boys. If we weren’t here in the community, I think we would have already lost him.
Samantha — Sister to Chulo, computer extraordinaire
What I like about this place is that I feel safe. I receive care here. At home, I don’t receive a lot of caring.
My mom doesn’t live with us. My dad works to support us but it is hard for him to receive money. And thanks to this place, I’ve learned a lot of stuff.
What I also like is that we can do our homework (on the computers), like they ask us to at school. We can ask anything (from school homework) to Miriam (CHR Community Leader) and she helps us.
Here they teach us things I didn’t know about. For example, I did not know what a computer was.
I don’t have a computer, I come here and Miriam lends us the computers. We started computer lessons, they teach us everything that is good.
We spend time here and we all eat together.
I feel really safe.
In this story, you can clearly see your gift at work.
Facilitating and resourcing community outreach centres in some of the most violent communities in Honduras is not easy. But there is no denying, it makes a world of difference to children who have no other options.
Your gift gives children like Chulo and Samantha genuine possibilities for life beyond gangs and their current circumstances.
In some of the world's most dangerous places, Childhood Rescue works to ensure the opportunity to feel safe and build a peaceful future is available to all children.