TOGETHER FOR A JUST WORLD
Central America • Guatemala • Honduras

A solidarity alliance to educate and support migrant women

The situation in Honduras has deteriorated dramatically since the 2009 coup d'état, with migration figures rising steadily ever since. OCDIH educates potential migrants about possible migration routes, their rights and provides them with shelter thanks to families in solidarity and through cooperation with ACOMUMSAM.

OCDIH staff inform migrants about safe escape routes (Photo: Carlos Cano / AWO International)OCDIH staff inform migrants about safe escape routes (Photo: Carlos Cano / AWO International)

The socio-political situation in Honduras has deteriorated dramatically since the 2009 coup d'état. The consequences are the weakening of democratic institutions, the militarization of the country, impunity from crime and rising poverty. The Central American country is dominated by organized crime and drug cartels. Corruption extends to top levels of the government.

Honduras is among the world's most dangerous countries: In 2018, a total of 3,682 murders were documented in Honduras, which corresponds to 41 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants or an average of ten murders per day. These factors led more than 600,000 Hondurans to live as migrants in the USA. In 2018, 274 Hondurans set out daily to find a better life in the North. Children and young people in particular are fleeing violence and hopelessness. International attention was drawn in October 2018 by the formation of the so-called "Migrant Caravan" near the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, in which around 2,000 Hondurans - including many women and children - made their way to the USA together. The caravan grew in size on the way, so that it is estimated that about 6,000 refugees arrived in the Mexican town of Tijuana at the US border, where they had to wait for asylum in the USA.

OCDIH: Affected by migration themselves, they have become an established NGO in the field of migration

OCDIH (Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras) is a prestigious non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Northwest of Honduras, known for its expertise in rural development, humanitarian aid and human rights. The organization itself has been affected by migration for years, as many OCDIH-trained promoters or community representatives make their way to the "North" - to Mexico or the USA - and therefore processes that were underway often could not be completed or had to be started all over again. Triggered by its own experiences, OCDIH began to strengthen its position in the field of migration and has meanwhile established itself as an NGO in the field of migration.

Youth organisations as a means of combating migration

In addition to migration committees and self-help groups, youth organizations are also established in the 18 project communities in Honduras. Young people are trained in youth and migration rights and are informed in regard to general migration issue. In addition, the youth organizations are forming youth networks in order to represent their interests in the local administrations and to support the development of youth programmes.

OCDIH supports young adults from the youth organizations in income-generating measures in order to not only ensure that migration is an informed decision but also to offer young people the prospect of staying. The selected young people design their own small-scale economic projects - such as starting a carpentry business or opening a small shop - and receive start-up capital from OCDIH as well as the necessary support from a psychologist in the planning and elaboration of their business ideas and their life plans.

"Familias solidarias" provide shelter for migrants

But what happens to the people who ultimately decide to migrate? Where can they find support during their flight?

Safe migration routes are characterized by the fact that migrant women find shelter during their dangerous journey, for example with solitary families. These are families that support migrant women in their transit and inform them about their rights. Therefore, OCDIH cooperates with the grassroots organization ACOMUMSAM (Asociación Comunitaria Multisectorial de Monitoreo en Salud y Apoyo al Migrante) in the Department of Petén in Guatemala, which has a large network of solitary families in the two districts of La Libertad and Las Cruces. The route through Petén is one of the most frequented migration routes in Central America. In the first three years of our project (2016-2018), 7,098 migrants were hosted by 30 families. Here they recover from the efforts of the dangerous journey, receive information about the further migration route and basic medical care before continuing their journey to Mexico or the USA.

Project information

ProjectSolidarity alliance for migrants and affected families in Honduras and Guatemala
Place/RegionIn Honduras in 18 municipalities of the three municipal districts of Nueva Arcadia, San Nicolás and La Florida in the Copán department. In Guatemala, nine municipalities in the two municipal districts of La Libertad and Las Cruces in the department of El
PartnerOCDIH (Honduras), ACOMUMSAM (Guatemala)
Target group

Potential migrants and their families in Honduras, returning migrants, migrants in transit in Guatemala, members of solidary families in Guatemala

Activities
  • Strengthening self-determined migration decisions and promoting "enlightened" and "safer" migration in the communities of origin
  • Strengthening of migration committees and self-help groups in order to counter and counteract the effects of migration
  • Health care, counselling and protection from violation of rights for migrants
  • Support for family members in investigating cases of missing migrants
Duration2019-2021
Budget80.000 Euro p.a.
SponsorBMZ

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