Newsletter June 2024

By Roger Bjoroy-Karlsen. the President of the board of directors

The summer is upon us, and the staff and the students at Cattleya are now taking a break. But there are clouds in the horizon. The consequences of closing Cattleya Education Center are dire. That’s why several of us who are volunteering to support Cattleya are constantly working hard to keep it funded and operational. We depend on each and everyone who supports us, and fortunately, there are several who do. But we need all the help we can get. Let me explain why.

Cattleya Education Center is committed to providing specialized education and support to children with special needs, which are vital and scarce services in our community. Through our programs, our students enhance their abilities and, thus, increase their social value.

Some of our future students arrive at the center without a language or the ability to talk, but with the proper training, they quickly learn how to speak. 

At Cattleya Education Center, every child deserves to learn, grow, and realize their full potential, regardless of physical or cognitive challenges. Our mission is to create a nurturing environment that fosters skill development, enabling these children to live more independent and fulfilling lives.

Regrettably, we are confronted with the challenge of limited resources amidst a growing demand. The Bay Islands are home to many children who fall into our care category, with numerous families in dire need of our services. This situation affects not only the children but also their entire families.

Financial constraints hamper our ability to meet this demand. We do not receive government sponsorship in Honduras, relying solely on donations, fundraising, and sponsorships to operate. Our waiting list is growing, and there is an urgent need to expand our center to accommodate all those who require education, training, and stimulation.

The consequences of not having an educational institution like Cattleya are that this part of the population will not be stimulated, trained, and educated by professionals to increase their social value. Because most families depend on their income and need to work, the disabled stay home alone during the day without any stimulation.

 We are focusing not only on the students but also on their next of kin and their surroundings. They need to learn how to treat people with special needs daily. To not take care of disabled persons is a violation of human rights.

We need to show the world that these children are building upon their abilities and are able to do work arranged or customized for them. We need to change the attitude toward people with special needs. They are not trash; no one should be ashamed of having or knowing them.

Governments are founding and organizing caretaking of disabled persons in most of the countries and states in Northern America and Europe. We need to raise awareness that this is not the case in Honduras. However, we also need to try to turn the tide in this country so the government understands that this is their responsibility, laid down in several laws.  

To meet the required demands, we need to expand education, as we have experienced that the waiting list is growing. The more awareness we create, the more people are interested in having their child in our education system.

That’s why we are starting a project to examine how we can grow and organize the education and staff around it.

Yours in Cattleya
Roger Bjoroy-Karlsen
President
Board of Directors

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The Police is visiting Cattleya (Photo: Elizabeth Penã, director)
Creating art is an excellent way to stimulate and train. (Photo: Elizabeth Penã, director)