It has been a while since I wrote my first entry in this journal. But, my time and energies have been well invested in the writing of the strategy plan for the umbrella organisation. I have to confess, this process has been also a cleansing process, sometimes it feels like years have passed, because of the huge amount of the time I have invested on it but, it only has been a time-lapse between April and June. The good news is the plan is finally finished! This was also my thesis at the University and I had exactly 9 weeks to set it all up. Long nights and days, reading and writing. I ended up exhausted but happy. If I could describe the feeling, I would say, it was like delivering a baby. Now, its time to nurture it, love it and allow it to grow and flourish.
The Facebook group started last december, the resonance is good so far, the group is growing steady and seems like more and more migrants from Honduras are coming along but there is still a long way to go. We have no funding whatsoever and as the co-founder and I, are both single parents, having the responsibility to bring food to the table, we feel the pressure to find a way to keep up with our every day duties, earn money to pay the bills, and the work at the Honduran Diáspora as well. It is 100% voluntary work and we do it with love and commitment, yet it is not easy at the moment but I remain hopeful we will find a way to back up the work we do and look for grants or funding sources. If you have any ideas, how to find them, please share them with me.
Dolores Paz Montes, my partner in this project, is living in Italy, she is not only working on a daily basis to enrich the page group on Facebook, currently she coordinates a petition to the Honduran authorities, because they have already announced the closing of the Honduran consulate in Italy by the end of july 2014. (This is not public but it will be, is official, we got the information from a reliable source inside the Honduran embassy in Italy)
There are an approximate of 10,000 Hondurans living in this european country, it is estimated that only 1,400 of them have a legal status, the big majority works under irregular working conditions and without any kind of structural support, like social help, neither legal rights nor labor rights, in this months for example, we have learned the cases of people working 24/7 like modern slaves. People that completely fall under the social net. No help at all, either from the guest country or the representatives of Honduras over there. These people are hard working people, not criminals, sending remittances to their families back home in Honduras, money that all these families rely upon to survive every month. If the Honduran consulate closes in Italy, many will have to risk deportation while crossing borders in order to renew their Honduran passports or to have access to other consular services.
Mobilize and unite the voices of ilegal immigrants it is not an easy task. People are afraid to give any kind of information that could lead into heavy trouble with the italian immigration office. We do not know if we will succeed with this petition, but we are trying our best and are mobilizing all our resources and networks over the web, in order to make our voices be heard in Honduras, like reaching for journalists in newspapers in Honduras.
As for myself, I started with the first group of Hondurans in Hamburg, the world cup has been the best way to find and meet new people from my home country in this city and they seem to be highly motivated to start activities for the group. This has been a very pleasant experience for me in the last weeks. (Although the Honduran football team did not make it further) It has brought me a bit closer to my goal. I am very thankful for that. :)
The immigration issues in the United States with the unaccompanied minors from Honduras flooding the North american borders is a humanitary disaster and we want to help through our work over the web to reach the families and help them reunite. With a strong international community of immigrants from Honduras abroad we could increase social actions, Human development programs and campaigns to help reduce the levels of Honduran citizens leaving the country.
The reality is, nobody wants to leave the country, there is unfortunately a systemic problem inside Honduras that needs to be addressed from all areas, and we the immigrants from Honduras dispersed across the world are the force that will bring many positive changes to the country. We are like a sleeping giant that has begun to move a toe.
There are so many things to do and I know in my heart this my calling. I am looking for programs in Germany that support initiatives of social change across the globe, and although I wish I could start right now with all the activities I have written inside the strategy plan, I still haven´t found out the answer to biggest question of all non-profits across history: where do we wet the money to do all this?
Any other ideas?
P.S. = If you understand spanish, I kindly invite to join the Facebook group and take a look at the work we do. :Dhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/DiasporaHONDURAS/WWW: Women Weave the Web