I have just returned from Honduras and some very profitable time on various fronts. I want to provide a quick up date on the Nehemias Wall project. I am attaching a couple of files but they will probably tax your Spanish language ability so please allow me to give a little explanation and some comments on my visit.
First let me say it was great to visit the home again after 3 1/2 years of personally not having been there. Dan Baetz and Lidstones (Member Care personnel) had made visits in between. The President from Vida Y Libertad-Spain, the founding organization, was also there at my request. Casa Hogar has had a couple of operational years that have been tough financially. The economic crisis and extreme down turn in Spain has limited their funding and not allowed for anything but survival. Fortunately the sponsorship from the Fellowship of children and the project in general has kept the project in the black. Even that has not allowed for a lot of the desired extra development. We agreed on a budget for the coming year that we believe will be attainable for operational aspects.
It was great to see the generator in place and hear of how it has protected them from loss of food and hatched chicks when there have been power faliures for extended periods of time.
In regard to the security wall project I personally had my conviction reinforced that we must find a solution for the completion of it. I talked some with Tina and Melodie and with their permission personally met with Andry, the engineer and one who has been managing it and is prepared to oversee the completion. I recognized that Tina (and Melodie) do not want a “jail” look to the site and want it to be colorful, etc. but I also encouraged them that realistically we need to seek security before we seek beauty. From what I had observed on site I asked him to bring the completion budget up to date with prices as of today since the last estimate I had was from July 2013. Knowing nothing is static in the area of costs and having been informed that there had been government mandated increases in salaries and other areas as of January 2014 we needed to have new figures. Those are attached in US dollars.
The significant step I took was to explain to Andry and request that he separate the budget into two sections: the completion of the wall to provide security and the cosmetic aspects that will be needed to leave it as a truly completed project. That explains why there are two pages to the estimate.
The estimate to complete the wall (close it in) to provide security is $23, 943.43 US. To complete the cosmetic aspects of parging, paint and serpentine wire (on the remote back part) has an estimated cost of $10,100.99 US.
I instructed Andry that the approach that I wanted to see was that when work resumed it would be first totally focused on completing the wall to provide security and that things like paint, etc be left until after. It would be a two stage process so that with the least amount of investment we attain security. My basic reasoning behind this is that as it presently sits the total investment has provided minimal change in the security level of Casa Hogar.
He told me that he could start work within 4 weeks of receiving funds and that he would project a timeline of 6-8 weeks to complete the security of the wall. I confirmed to him that we were attempting to raise the necessary funds in Canada and that we did have some commitment and plan in place.
I am concerned that even with the great project of garden and greenhouse that Great Village has planned for the near future plus the existing chicken project that security is a must. This of course on top of what the children need to have.
I trust this brings you up to date on what came out of the visit with regard to this specific aspect. I would be glad to talk with any of you, or all of you, on the phone and answer any questions to the best of my ability.
Norman E. Nielsen
Associate Director, Fellowship International