Through its three conferences, “Communities of Learning” brought civil society leaders of international prominence together to discuss topics important to Honduran society. Experts in the fight against corruption and impunity encouraged Honduran citizens to be involved and committed in the justice process of their country by supporting the justice system, demanding transparency from politicians and denouncing corruption.
AJS has spent nearly a decade working to protect children from sexual abuse, and seven years on making the public education system in Honduras more effective and transparent. Now a new initiative combines these goals, helping to strengthen the education system’s methods of receiving, processing, and responding to cases of sexual abuse in schools.
When parents came to AJS saying their children’s public school was demanding unnecessary fees, AJS helped the parents file a formal complaint, and accompanied inspectors from the Ministry of Education as they investigated. The Ministry of Education found sufficient evidence to suspend both the principal and the vice-principal, and name new authorities for the school. Now for these students, free, public education really is free.
“We need to engage around topics like violence, education, and health care, we need to get involved. And if the message from Honduras is anything, it’s that we can learn about these things, we can change these things. It’s not as hard as we think.”
Omar Rivera speaks on the work of the police commission – “We knew that what we were doing was planting a seed that would have incredible fruit – peace and safety for more than eight million people. As we in the Commission and at AJS continue in this work, we hope that people around the world will be encouraged and challenged to get close to the problems in their own environments.”
The approval of the new Organic Law of the National Police is a momentous step in the institutional life of the public security system of the country.
The seven most violent countries in Latin America represent less than 6% of the world’s population, but 34% of the world’s homicides. What would it take to change?
“AJS is in such an interesting position where they are able to both criticize and support. They critique, but then turn around and say ‘our intention is to lift you up and help you to better.”
After a dismal 19% transparency and management score in 2015, no one would have guessed that Honduras’ Property Institute would be among the “most-improved” government institutions.
“As you know very well, ASJ is probably the most important civil society organization currently operating here [in Honduras]. It’s an organization that we in the United States embassy and the United States government partner with in many very important ways.”