YMCAs Come Together
The YMCA in Honduras and the Humber Community YMCA may seem a world apart, but Salvadore Bautista believes an agreement signed between the parties will strengthen both.
Bautista is a volunteer with the Honduras YMCA who is on a tour of Atlantic Canada signing the agreement.
Through an interpreter, he said the agreement will help curb violence in his country.
“(The goal is) to have a relationship between the two countries and to see how we can improve the way things are in Honduras,” said Bautista. “We think poverty and violence is horrible in our country. We want to make more jobs, so people will be less violent. We also want to educate young people so they can work.”
His plane from Honduras wasn’t allowed to land in the United States because of fears of illegal immigration. Bautista said the plane had to stop in El Salvador and Mexico before landing in Toronto.
He said a lot of people emigrate to escape the poverty and violence in his country.
“The situation in Honduras is really hard because we don’t have a lot of support from other parts the world,” he said. “We hope Canada realizes our situation. Our principal project is education for our youth. We just hope we can help youth wherever we can. We just need support.”
Evie Newton, chair of the Humber Community YMCA, said it’s not just financial help for the country located in Central America . She said getting the message out and educating people is one of the YMCA’s strong points in Atlantic Canada, so passing on that information is a big part of the agreement.
“We have lots of expertise in communications, publishing documents, Internet communication and that kind of stuff,” Newton said. “We can be very helpful in that.”
Valerie Pretty, international committee representative for the Humber YMCA, said through the agreement they will help fund a citizen development program.
“There’s a 39-page pamphlet the young people there carry around in their pocket that tells the youth what they’re entitled to,” explained Pretty. “This partnership will help fund that.
“The law is there and the government knows it, but it’s making sure it’s implemented through the local police. The local police are the main ones that need to be educated in this.
Written by Cliff Wells
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