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MSF in Honduras, 2007
Field Staff: 41
Reason for Intervention:
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Urban violence in the capital, Tegucigalpa, often affects street children who are already marginalized. Many have drug addiction problems, precarious employment, and poor access to healthcare facilities.
MSF runs a day center for young people on the street in Comayaguela, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa. The project provides medical and psychological help to children and adolescents up to the age of 24 who live on the streets. Awareness campaigns aim to make sure the young people know about the center and its services. They are also informed of their rights and accompanied to health facilities in emergency situations.
The emphasis is on addressing the damage caused by drugs, particularly the common addiction of glue sniffing. Further medical activities focus on sexual and reproductive health, as young girls are often involved in commercial sex activities or become victims of sexual violence. An estimated 400 young people were seen at the day center in 2007.
MSF advocates on behalf of these children, highlighting their plight among governmental and non-governmental agencies and the public in an effort to improve their situation. In one example, MSF documented the experiences of young people living on the street in a book distributed to the local authorities, partner organizations and the general public.
At the end of the year, MSF began to assist other vulnerable and stigmatized groups who also have limited access to health and social services.
MSF has worked in Honduras since 1998.