Saturday, June 23, 2012

The power of dreams:Building capacity, changing lives

The Challenge of Dreaming My Life [Desafío de Soñar Mi Vida (DSMV)] methodology was created and started under the Regional Youth Alliance Program (AJR USAID‐SICA), now continued by Youth Alliance Honduras‐USAID (AJH). To date over 5,500 children and youth have been trained in the most high risk and vulnerable communities of San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Choloma, Distrito Central and Puerto Lempira.
DSMV was designed to help youth identify their capacities and discover their potential. With this knowledge, youth are encouraged to dream about their futures and establish goals to achieve their dreams. The AJH has trained volun‐ teer facilitators in this methodology, most of which are also youth living in the same vulnerable communities. These facilitators not only develop DSMV workshops with youth from the communities, but also become mentors who follow up on the goals and life plans that each young person.
Fourteen year old Jazmín grew up in the violent San Isidro community of Chame‐ lecon, San Pedro Sula. Orphaned at a young age, Jazmín lived with her older sis‐ ter who one day kicked her out of the house for bad behavior. With no family or anyone to lend her a hand, Jazmín took refuge in the streets, losing any aspira‐ tion and hope of a better life. "I was sad, resentful and felt completely abandoned. Anything that the street offered me, I took because I had nothing". One day, Jazmín was invited by another youth to a DSMV workshop. The work‐ shop and training impacted her life in a very positive way. Following the work‐ shop and training, Jazmín began to receive help from a mentor in the Outreach Center.
Today, due to help offered by the Outreach Center, Jazmín is studying sewing at the Technical Institute of Chamelecon. "Through the Challenge of Dreaming my Life, I understood that there are many good things I can accomplish. That is why I am also learning computers in the Outreach Center. Now I have so many things to do and I know that I'm capable of doing them". Jazmín has returned to live with her older sister, and spends her time studying and participating in Outreach Center activities. 
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