(Roatan, HONDURAS) – Leaders at two Dallas-based international children’s organizations have initiated an alliance to provide services to protect at-risk children on the island of Roatan, just off the Honduran coast. Program leaders at Buckner International and Kids Matter International announced Aug. 5 the two groups will jointly operate a short-term transitional home for girls, foster and kinship care, and family intervention services.
Randy Daniels, vice president of international operations for Buckner Children and Family Services, said the faith-based organization will provide operational management and Kids Matter will provide oversight and initial funding for the project, which is expected to be in operation by late September.
“The transitional home will serve as foster group care and assessment center for girls ages 8-17 who cannot live at home because they are at risk of sexual abuse and sexual trafficking,” Daniels said. “The goal is for the girls to stay no longer than 90-120 days before we can transition them to foster or kinship care or, ideally, back home through our family intervention programs.”
Kids Matter President and CEO Joe King said the two groups formed the alliance to combat issues particular to Roatan, a beautiful resort destination for tourists. “Underneath the turquoise waters and pristine beaches of Roatan lies a culture of poverty and need that affects parents and children alike. We see this crisis and are responding to the young girls at risk and in abuse situations.”
Daniels said the program will start with four staff members and the alliance has already hired a house manager for the girls home. “We would not have been this prepared without the connections Kids Matter has made on Roatan. They have a tremendous network of relationships that has fast-tracked this critical program.”
Buckner, which already has established a Non-Government Organization in Honduras, provides children’s services to orphans and at-risk children in Tegulcigalpa and San Pedro Sula. The announcement of the Roatan work came the same week the Honduran government granted Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services a license to perform adoptions in the country, making the organization only the third United States-based adoption agency operating in Honduras.
For more information about Buckner, go to www.buckner.org. Kids Matter can be found at www.kidsmatterinternational.org.
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