Founder and CEO of Identity Mission
Learn About Family Based Care in Honduras and How You Can “Identify”.
Identity mission supports vulnerable children in Honduras by providing family-based care solutions alongside the local church.
Where did this work begin? Was it born from childhood?
She had a desire to work overseas. She started working with her church. She wanted to help. She wanted to make it her life work. She took a trip to Paraguay. She got her teaching degree with the intent to teach at underprivileged schools.
She started to volunteer in orphanages. She saw the horrible conditions and she knew she wanted to make a difference.
She got to work right away. She came up with solutions. She is passionate and she found her life’s calling.
How do you break through cultural barriers? Take the time to understand the culture. There are good ways to present them. It was an 8 year learning journey. Her husband is a Honduran! They work in over 40 orphanages and they learned how to impact.
Her husband was her translator. Their work advanced because he could connect well with the kids. It helped having a local. It was beneficial.
Is there a desire to create systemic change? Do you find locals to help change or are they fearful?
For Honduras, they started a new foster care program. They worked with the locals instead of missionaries. They were able to engage local churches. They were able to engage the government.
There is an influx of missionaries. They are the leaders. They built a reliance on foreigners coming in.
Dena speaks about the non-profit and the level of dependency on social issues.
There is a balance. In a third world country, the government had a corrupt system. There was not a system in place for welfare to take care of families. That is where Tara stepped in. There is a huge reliance on her work. Now there is a new welfare system. They lack staff and transportation. But they have better training. They are able to assist the government now. They are equipping and empowering behind the scenes.
Shed light on the country of Honduras. What are the main social issues. Poverty is the main issue. There are 11,000 kids in orphanages. They have been taken away from their families because of neglect. 80% is this reason. The kids would die of hunger. There are no food stamps or unemployment. It is a social crisis.
Let’s talk about the local artisans. Does this tie into Identity Mission? They could identify a family and help them find work so the family can stay together. Out of that has been to support the local artisans. They work with other organizations. They highlight their crafts. They partnered and started a marketplace.
What are the hurdles to be aware of? She would learn as much as you can from someone who has done this before. Instead of guessing, she could have done more research instead of exhausting herself. You have to put action behind the work. Locals have helped so much!
A lot of founders have a personality where they have trouble letting go of control. Take care of yourself and empower yourself. They have a staff of 12 now.
Foster care is the answer. The orphanages are not how you think it is! There are 200 to 1,000 children. There are kids strapped to beds. There are 3 babies in one crib. They don’t know how a family functions. They are not ready for life. There is one person taking care of 20 plus children.
Is there another root cause why there are so many numbers? Young girls leave and get pregnant and there is a cycle. 60% go back to crime and poverty after they age out.
None of this can replace family.
How can someone help? There is such joy in helping the unfortunate. Find your spot and don’t be discouraged. Get out there and research and find your part!
It is doable and don’t do it on your own! Thanks for providing the inspiration!