The 2022 Success Academy classes across Honduras and El Salvador started in mid-January with 300 students ready to grow their faith and learn life skills in the year ahead.
“We’re eagerly anticipating what the new year holds for Orphan Helpers and the youth we serve,” said Executive Director Greg Harris. “We’ve laid out some ambitious goals for 2022 to increase learning opportunities for incarcerated youth, guide more youth after they’re released, and build upon our recent expansion to Guatemala. As we lay out these plans, we’re praying the Lord guides our steps.”
The 2022 plans come on the heels of a successful 2021. With your support, Orphan Helpers equipped more incarcerated and released youth for success. Here are just some of the accomplishments from the past year:
60% of incarcerated youth participated in Success Academy classes inside nine juvenile detention centers across Honduras and El Salvador. Since the launch of the Success Academy six years ago, 952 incarcerated youth have completed the first level of the Academy.
27 incarcerated youth finished our entrepreneurship bootcamp and developed business plans for new ventures, including honey, poultry, and bakery products.
182 released Academy graduates received regular follow-up services from Success Coaches.
41 released youth participated in the new “Work for Success” program that assists Academy alumni in achieving their educational and entrepreneurial goals. 24 youth are receiving scholarships to complete high school, start college, or attend trade school. 17 respectively youth are getting help to start and grow a small business.
57 incarcerated youth were baptized behind bars in front of their peers. 297 youth have boldly and publicly declared their faith inside the prison walls through baptism since 2016.
1 Country Director was hired in Guatemala to launch new work in that country. Juan Colmenares brings to Orphan Helpers significant experience in international project management, church partnerships, and youth ministry in his home country of Guatemala.
40-person capacity chapel and classroom space was completed inside the Tonacatepeque detention center in El Salvador thanks to a grant from a German foundation (Help for the Brethren International).
4-star rating (highest possible) was awarded to Orphan Helpers by America’s largest independent non-profit evaluator Charity Navigator for strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.
A government official in Central America recently commented on the impact these combined efforts are having in the lives of young men and women.
“What I like about the work you do is that you are bringing happiness and hope to the young people. They are excited. They are able to sleep well at night!” she said. “You inspire hope in them. You are giving them something better to hope for. The things you are doing are really helping them.”