Before joining HOI last November, I spent almost 17 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Honduras with short-term assignments elsewhere. During that period, I was fortunate to serve in several capacities such as Education and Economic Growth Program Officer, NGO Liaison Officer, Trade and Investment Adviser, Deputy Director of Economic Growth, and Chief of Economic Growth. That experience helped me understand that poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability are multi-causal issues and the responsibility for addressing them does not rest solely with one organization. Finding the right partners with the required capabilities and resources should always be a priority for every development organization in order to build capacity and foster sustainability.
HOI’s target region, Central America, faces historic challenges that are forcing governments and partners to work together to deliver cost-effective, out of the box development solutions. Throughout the region, the lack of economic opportunities, deteriorating family and moral values, extreme poverty, and inequality are the main causes of critical issues such as migration and insecurity. This is exacerbated by climate change conditions, crop diseases, and price variability that dramatically impact the most vulnerable households every year. Over the last three years, more than 500,000 families in Central America have been affected by drought, and the compounded effects of coffee rust disease and low coffee prices. No organization can address these complex issues alone.
Engaging the private sector, central and local governments, and the communities is central to achieving HOI’s mission as a “Christ-centered organization working alongside people of developing countries who desire to implement sustainable development partnerships.” We have recognized that our integrated development goal of having prosperous, healthy, self-sufficient communities with unified families cannot be achieved without the active participation of key stakeholders from private and public sectors and the populations we serve. HOI is committed to aggressively pursuing a development model that focuses on building alliances and leveraging financial resources, knowledge, technologies, tools, and relationships. This will be critical to build long-term relationships and sustainability.
After almost three decades working hand in hand with more than 100 communities and their people in Honduras and more recently in Nicaragua, HOI has become a solid organization with an outstanding reputation and a development model that is ready to be brought to the next level. In order to do that, we will proactively engage with several partners and tap into business capacity and productive infrastructure to facilitate access to economic opportunities and jobs. We may need to make critical strategic decisions to focus our resources more effectively through partnerships that generate greater social and economic impact. It may also include focusing on geographic areas with different interventions; concentrating on activities that have faster impact and inclusion; facilitating an integrated package of services in the communities; and formalizing alliances that facilitate access to technologies, markets, and services.
Over the years, HOI’s success has been guided by talented and passionate leadership supported by thousands of enthusiastic supporters who have dedicated their time, talents, and resources to HOI’s mission. As we enter this new strategic period we are committed to finding the best partners to achieve our mission and are so grateful for your continued support and prayers.