The Honduran people as a culture are gracious and humble, and at their heart they are kind and hospitable. However, over the last 5 decades, with an ever-increasing wave of illegal immigration to the North, there has been a dramatic disintegration of the nuclear family. This has led to high incidence of sexual abuse of young girls, young men going into gangs, early teenage pregnancy and a host of other societal ills. Recognizing these symptoms, the founders of MUR designed and implemented a system to “get upstream” of the problem. This program is DESEO, where Values are taught in public schools from a Bible based curriculum. Each week more than 1200 children receive a 40-minute lesson on values. Parents and teachers alike report that DESEO has changed their schools for the better. A better tomorrow in Honduras is on the horizon when this new generation of leaders takes their rightful place as responsible adults in their communities.
Each week our DESEO team enters a school and starts with a school assembly. Our visitors from the US would recognize this as something similar to a dynamic VBS assembly. After singing fun songs and watching our DESEO team members act out a drama, the students return to their classrooms. Our Team divides up and presents a 40-minute lesson to each classroom, covering topics such as health and hygiene, honesty and integrity, future orientation, bullying, etc. The children are tested over each module in order to ensure they are capturing and internalizing the values and concepts presented during these lessons.
Afternoon activities are an important part of the values training that DESEO provides the children in our communities. Tutoring in subjects that a particular student is struggling with is one of the programs we offer. Basketball leagues are another important way of teaching that our team utilizes. In MUR’s UPWARD basketball program the children learn about working in a team, resolving conflict, and respecting authority, while also participating in scripture memorization and devotionals. These activities help form the children into a more whole and productive person in their home and society.
The US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that, “Future orientation is an important component of identity development. … Research has linked greater future orientation with improved health and educational outcomes such as reduced drug use, less sexual risk-taking behaviors, lower violence involvement, and improved educational and vocational outcomes.” All of these “benefits” derived from Future Orientation are exactly the things that Honduran society so desperately needs. That is why DESEO exists and continues to inculcate values and future orientation in the youth of today; so they, can have a better tomorrow.