Both Ends Burning Inaugural Country Visit to Honduras
June 15-19, 2015
Both Ends Burning sent a team to Tegucigalpa, Honduras—along with two of the world’s most respected child development experts, Dr. Dana Johnson and Dr. Judith Eckerle—on our inaugural country visit. This trip was a direct result of our newly created coalition to create measurable pilot programs and plan their implementation. Our shared objective with Honduras for this trip was to advance the search for permanent loving families for orphaned children and support the efforts currently underway in the country to reform its system of child protection.
This visit was organized by DINAF, Honduras’ Dirección Nacional de la Niñez y la Familia (National Ministry for Child and Family). Our team had the opportunity to meet with government officials, including members of the National Congress and First Lady Ana de Hernández who spoke openly of the needs of children in Honduras. She said, “if we live in stress and fear, what future do our children have?” The First Lady was engaged in the issues being discussed and concluded her remarks before the group by saying, “we want our children to have a better future.”
The BEB team forged meaningful relationships and was given a first-hand look at the work of Hondurans to get children into families. During the trip, our team traveled to Comayagua and La Paz to tour homes for the temporary protection of children and orphanages. During each of these visits, Drs. Johnson and Eckerle were able to present their research and share with caregivers who manage institutional care in Honduras. The exchanges were well-rounded, educational and productive, with more attendees in most sessions than expected.
The visit inspired media coverage, including numerous TV interviews with Chad Turner, BEB’s Director of Programs, discussing adoption, child welfare topics, and DINAF and BEB’s relationship. Our team also had the opportunity to meet with UNICEF, USAID, the Human Rights Commission, academia, religious leaders, NGO’s, and private enterprise while in country.
In response to the success of the pilot trip, Craig Juntunen, Founder of Both Ends Burning, said, “we are excited to partner with Honduras to create a new vision and approach for vulnerable kids, focused on family-based solutions. In the months ahead, we will make similar visits to other countries, promoting the development of new programs to serve children differently than they have been served in the past.”