HHCR's goal is to provide opportunities to teach and allow each child to develop transferable life skills. Hope House Mexico has set the precedent in that it already accomplishes this in a variety of safe, structured environments such as a professional-level woodworking classroom, a horticulture and aquaponics program. The life skills emphasized include: Reading Text, Document Use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral Communication, Working with Others, Thinking Skills (such as Problem Solving, Decision Making, Critical Thinking, Assessing, Job Task Planning, Organizing, Significant Use of Memory and Finding Information), Continuous Learning and lastly, Computer Use. This vocational training and life skill development greatly assist each child in obtaining and maintaining employment in the future. In our current location in Mexico, Carpentry and Farming are our focused areas of training. The slideshow to the right offers some insight into these opportunities for the boys.
Hope House Mexico has been extremely blessed with the facilities to provide vocational training currently in the areas of carpentry and gardening. The following photos show examples of the woodwork shop that has been used extensively since it was installed. A number of products have been sold in the area. At least 10 boys have received training and currently we have boys attending classes four mornings a week.
The boys are not only being taught carpentry skills, but they are being taught the basics of arithmetic. Because of the cost of schooling, many of the boys' families have been unable to afford to send their children to school. Even though a boy may be 10, 11 or 12 years old, he may not possess the skills to do simple addition or subtraction. So part of the curriculum would be to teach them basic math skills, reading, measuring and so on. Through this, the boys are learning very rudimentary life skills, something they would not be able to attain outside of Hope House if they were on their own or even with their families.
Farming & Aquaponics
For the last year several private donations have been received and volunteers have made their manual skills available to construct a center for gardening. Three forms of gardening have become available – gardening on the ground, gardening in raised beds and aquaponics.
Through this, Hope House Mexico has the facilities to train basic gardening skills to the boys. When they come to Hope House they are unfamiliar with different plants, growing seasons, fertilizing, watering and other general care and feeding of plants, whether floral or for human consumption.