Meet Carolina

1

Born on December 6, 1998, Heidy Carolina Avila Espinal spent her early years with her mother and grandmother in a small town near Tegucigalpa. In 2009, she lost her mother to AIDs, leaving Carolina in the care of her grandmother. When her grandmother grew unable to care for Carolina, she moved to Villa Nueva to live with her aunt and cousins. Although her aunt worked long hours to provide for her family, she was simply unable to provide the amount of resources needed to support her family plus Carolina. When Carolina’s aunt came to a neighbor for help, she was introduced to POI. Through this newly formed relationship, Carolina was able to move into a home with 14 other children in the POI family.

Over the years, Carolina has become a part of the POI family. Through POI, she has received an education which allows her to pursue whatever she puts her mind to. POI has not only given opportunities but also hope. In the year 2016, Carolina and two other members of the POI family reached their 18th birthday. 4In the country of Honduras, once a child turns 18, they are no longer legally allowed to live in a home with younger children. These new adults must move out of the home and all of a sudden, they must try to figure out how to live on their own. They often end up back in the very environments from which they came.  Because of this growing need, POI has ventured to create a solution for the problem, a Transitional Home. This newly founded step allows those who have lived in a POI home to continue their education in a safe and secure environment once they have aged out of the system.5

This is exactly what Carolina is doing! We are proud to announce that she has graduated high school and is currently enrolled in college, majoring as a food and beverage technician. Carolina also attends a private culinary school where she will eventually become a certified sous chef! Her current education and dedication allows her to work her way to become a head chef. She is already an amazing cook and enjoys making food for her POI family.

 

 

 

-What is your favorite meal to make?

Chicken with a tomato based sauce. Since I began culinary school I have been taught how to make various sauces. I absolutely love to make sauces!

-How did graduating high school make you feel?

In my previous years of schooling I never really gave it my best. Ana then told me that we need to be intentional about what we do. I then decided to challenge myself and give it my all. By graduation day I had accomplished my goal.  Although I was sad that my mother wasn’t there to celebrate with me, I enjoyed spending the day with the people I loved.

What are the most important lessons you have learned during a year in the transitional house?

I have learned to make decisions thinking towards my future. Those around me have taught me to take responsibility for my actions and truly become intentional about what I do in life. I have learned to set goals and how important it is to work to achieve them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My dream is to become a chef doing international cuisine. Someday I would like to visit France where the Culinary Institute has a study abroad program. This practicum is only given to students who have academic excellence. And that is what I am striving for!

Exciting New Opportunities

A note from our boys home:

On June 20, 2009, POI opened its doors to children who, before that day, had no hope and an uncertain future. POI took these children off the streets, out of abusive environments, away from poverty, hunger, loneliness, despair, and gave them a place to call home. Each of the stories of our children is proof of God’s redeeming love and hope for the future. Several of you have had the opportunity to meet them and learn a little bit more about them. Today, we wanted to share some exciting news happening at the boys home!

As many of you know our boys love to play table tennis. Over the last few years, their skills have developed immensely. This past year, all the boys began competing in tournaments and some of them were even selected to represent Honduras in a Central American tournament.

Anderson will compete in the U-18 division, while Helton, Isaac, and Andre compete for the U-15. They will travel to Guatemala and compete against teams from; El Salvador, Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala. Our boys, who train daily, look forward to giving it their best and possibly earn some awards.
Alongside Mary, they will leave Tegucigalpa next Tuesday, February 7th, and will return home on Sunday, February 12th. Please keep them in your prayers and join us in celebrating their accomplishments!

 

My POI story- Kimberly Barahona

Story on Kimberly Barahona, a 6th grade graduate from POI’s Project in Crucitas

kim7

“I can´t believe it! I still remember only being able to see her eyes peeping above the stove in Ayestas.” Ruth said while coming to the realization that Kimberly had finished her last year with POI.

Kimberly Barahona, who graduated from the POI program last December, had been a part of POI since she was 2 years old. Her mother Susan, has been the cook at our Crucitas neighborhood since 2007. For a long time Susan didn’t work because she needed to take care of her daughter who is the youngest of 3. Then the opportunity to become a cook for POI opened and only because POI would let her bring the young daughter to work did she take the job.

kim6“Because Kimberly was 2 years old I remember sitting her in a corner of the kitchen with toys so she could play, not get bored and become a nuisance but after a while all the kids wanted to play with her, she easily made friends,” Susan says. Kimberly’s older brothers also attended POI projects but Susan remarks, “even though all of my kids have gone through POI, Kimberly has been the one that has benefited from it the most because she has been here the longest. It will be hard not having her next year here.”  Susan takes pride in POI, as a staff member and as a mother.  She couldn’t find words to express her gratitude. She reflects saying, “How  couldn´t I be thankful! Speaking as a mother, I knew that I didn´t have to worry about the expense of purchasing a backpack or school supplies, and when she was sick POI clinic was there to provide what she needed. Her heart is rooted in Christ because that is what she learned here.”

 

 Kimberly who had many emotions was short of words but wanted to share a couple of her most treasured memories:

What is your first POI memory?

I don’t know what my first POI memory is because I remember always being here. I remember always being happy of coming to POI and having fun playing with my friends and learning about God. I would get bored at home or during vacations and would always look forward on being back at POI. I remember Profe. Yesica, who was my Kindergarten teacher, who always took time with me to make sure I was learning everything. POI is my family, they have been here for us in the good times and during bad times, and they have helped us and given us advice.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned at POI?

No fighting… how to be a true friend, recognize friends who can become a bad influence and how to avoid them… help my classmates… and most importantly always seek God and follow his word.

When you grow up, what would you like to be?

I want to be a Dr. because I would like to bring healing to people that need it the most.

What is your favorite POI memory?

I’ve always enjoyed fun day but this last one I made sure to have extra fun. I knew it was going to be my last. So I enjoyed everything like never before.

What will you miss the most?

Learning something new everyday, the friendships, and being able to spend more time with my mom.

Any final regards?

Yes. I would like to encourage all the kids in POI to stay here until they graduate, not choose the easy way out and learn as much as they can.  I would also like to thank God for allowing me to become part of POI, the Hamilton Family for all what they do to make sure we are taken care of, my teachers for always putting up with me, and my sponsor, Madison, for always being so special and kind with me.

As we welcome the New Year, we remember and pray for all the sixth graders that graduated.  Some, like Kimberly, spent more then half of their life with us. They will be missed but we can’t wait to welcome new faces that will fill our classrooms.

The POI children’s program is strategically planned to help children receive daily tutoring and reinforcement lessons, nutrition, medical care but most importantly biblical guidance. For only $38 a month you can sponsor a child in our program. With this money, you provide all these benefits to a child whose family lives on about $3 a day. If you are interested, check out our website today to pick a child!

http://www.poihn.org/sponsor-a-child/