In Honduras, the government response to COVID-19 has impacted every area of life: closing schools and businesses and suspending the constitutional right normally enjoyed by Hondurans to move freely around the country. In many places, there are police and military enforcing these new rules. While borders have been closed, World Renew’s agricultural initiatives have been deemed by the government to fill an essential service: providing food security for the people of Honduras.
Currently, 1 in 5 Hondurans live in extreme poverty. In rural areas, 75% of all family income is used to buy food. As we have moved to remote work and developed COVID-19 protocols, our team has mobilized to identify COVID-19 compliant ways to build agricultural labs, train farmers, install drip irrigation systems, provide farming tools, and establish nurseries that empower these farmers to keep growing food and protecting their families with sufficient nutrition.
In addition, World Renew’s aquaponics project in southern Honduras continues to thrive. Currently serving 100 families in the area, aquaponics requires 1 hour per day of each families’ time and continues to provide a stable food source to these families that they can grow and consume while practicing physical distancing. 8 different crops are supported through aquaponics, using native crops and seeds and each system produces 20-25 pounds of fresh food every month. The families participating in the program have learned to raise fish and vegetables, with the hope that they will not only raise enough to feed their families, but also develop a stable source of income and eventually sell their produce through the market.
Despite the pandemic and changes experienced throughout the country, aquaponics systems continue improving local health, investing in communities, and adapting to needs stemming from climate change and COVID-19. With 87% of family-participants in the program working as single mothers, these systems have brought stability and nutrition to some of the most vulnerable families in the regions where World Renew works.
Looking to the future, we are eager to introduce even more families to the program and increase food security throughout the region in a COVID-compliant manner.
As the work continues, we thank you for your prayers for the people of Honduras. Thank you for your prayers for our staff as they prepare to faithfully carry out the essential work of assisting the most vulnerable during this crisis. You can learn more about World Renew’s response to COVID-19 around the world and give to that work by visiting our Moment of Hope webpage.