International Samaritan is very blessed to have a mission that continually has a significant impact on its target population. This impact is measured in five different categories: education, health services, nurseries, housing, and in-kind contributions from service trips.?
Education For the people of the garbage dump communities, education is not only critical for alleviating poverty but also builds confidence. To date, over 11,000 people have benefitted from our educational programs, which don’t just provide instruction but offer what is likely the one solid meal students have each day. This cumulative total comes from students in five different schools, the Paso a Paso program and adult education.
Nurseries Without nurseries, families are forced to take infants with them while they work in the dump. Babies rest in cardboard boxes among the refuse, toddlers pick through waste with their parents. All are in danger. Through nursery service, children are kept safe and clean as well as receive a nutritious meal. Four nurseries are operating in Central America have served a cumulative total of over 7,900 children.
Health Services People living in the dump communities have many health conditions that we take for granted, most stemming from poor nutrition, poor sanitary conditions, and no access to medical care. Since Opening the Richard Flasck Medical Center in Honduras, the number of people given medical attention has soared. Currently a cumulative 45,000 people have received help.
Housing A typical home in the dump communities doesn’t provide much shelter or separation from the garbage families work in all day. Lack of basic provisions such as running water and contained bathroom areas are a luxury. In Guatemala and Honduras, housing programs have helped over 2,200 people since 2006 through the construction of 425 houses. These houses are simple by U.S. standards but make a world of difference to the families in need.
In-Kind Contributions All of our programs are dependent on the volunteer teams that enthusiastically leave their comfort zones to help. As of 2012, nearly $80,000 in in-kind contributions is thanks to these teams. Their effort is rewarded by the smiles of the families that they meet on the trip and the knowledge that they are doing a service more valuable than anything they’ll ever know.
Looking Forward We are working to build up the number of service teams that travel each year. Through increased service hours, we can continue to expand our programs and touch even more lives of the people of the garbage dump communities. For more information on the impact of these programs or to see what trips are planned,