Children of Utila
In 2010, I moved to a tiny island, Utila, just off the coast of Honduras. My friend, Jeanne and I had sold our possessions to go to this island and help start a coffee shop. When we realized that the coffee shop was not the reason we were there, we waited for a year to see the real reason we moved 3,000+ miles from our homeland.
During that year of waiting, I spent a lot of time detoxifying from an unhealthy attachment to people-pleasing in the structure of a church for 12 years of my life. Ya’ know…if you’re needing a place to unwind and discover who you really are, doing it on a remote Caribbean island isn’t so bad!
In that year of waiting, a friend of ours had mentioned that there was a lack of children’s books on the island for all the young ex-pat kids. I thought I might be able to help. So, I Skype’d with one of my nephews and asked if he would help me do a book drive. He agreed and with the help of his mom (my sister), organized a book drive at their school in Kirkland, WA.
Within 6 months, we had 8 boxes of books arrive on the island!
Our Canadian friend was thrilled we showed up with 7 boxes of fresh books. She was one of the many mom’s on the island that were from other countries, and their children were too little for school.
We had one extra box and heard that the public school was starting their first school library, so we met the English-speaking teacher at the school to give her the remaining treasure of books. After walking through the school grounds and hearing the stories of the children who attended the school, Jeanne and I knew immediately why we were summoned to this remote isle.
Seeing that we were several thousand miles from our homeland, the USA, we knew our only solution for raising awareness was to get our hands dirty with social media. The next day we began Children of Utila Facebook page and since February 2012, we have raised thousands of dollars.
Although I am no longer living there and on the ground helping Jeanne, she is still living there full-time and is an advocate for the children. You can read more about what Children of Utila does by liking our page on Facebook. There is always opportunities to volunteer with us, so just get in touch with us and we’d love your help!
Here is a what we are all about:
Children of Utila exists to meet the basic needs of the children at Utila’s public school so they can get an education.
We fight every day for the Children of Utila to receive the best education possible at the public school. We stand in the gap between extreme need and resources that improve health, sanitation, and education. We know the children are the future of this tiny Caribbean island and education can transform a life to give them a chance to rise above poverty, illiteracy, and hopelessness.
Our teams are uniquely positioned to build real relationships with the children and teachers because of consistent and personal interaction. We have found this to be a key component in bringing relevant and timely solutions to current needs. Partnering with donors and volunteers, we strive to daily do for one child what we wish we could do for all children of Utila.
- Raise awareness and advocate for Children of Utila to your friends & family via your social media communities
- Contribute financially to uniforms, lunch program, water project
- Organize a campaign fundraiser for ongoing projects
- Volunteer for various programs – English tutor, playground project, library organization
- Donate school supplies – pencils, pens, backpacks, etc.
If you are on the island, please let us know and we’d love to meet up with you.
If you can make an online donation, go to Mission Dispatch – once on the giving page, please follow instructions carefully to make sure Children of Utila receives the donation via online or check payment.
Facebook – Real-time updates and images
Email: info @ childrenofutila.org