– HCA ADVISORY BOARD –
Jim Beal (USA) volunteered in Honduras for 10 months in 2011-12. Although Jim worked at several programs, he also brought a construction component to our programs due to his concern about the effects of poor hygiene on the children’s health and attendance at school. Because of this concern, Jim has so far spearheaded the construction of 11 bathroom / showers for families who otherwise had only an outhouse. Please see our Building Baños page for recent projects and check out Jim’s blog for info on how the Porvenir Construction Program began. http://hondurasjim.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/shower-power/ A native of Pennsylvania, Jim plans to continue working in Honduras in between completing a medical degree! Jim serves on the HCA advisory board and can be reached at email@example.com.
Rikke Soendergaard (Denmark) has been involved in humanitarian work in Honduras since 2005, and has, so far, lived 1½ years in Honduras. She has done a variety of volunteer work and research and even studied at a Honduran university in La Ceiba. Currently Rikke coordinates our partnership program with the Bomberos Porvenir (firefighters) which focuses on fire safety, emergency first aid and community service. Amongst other skills, Rikke herself is a volunteer firefighter in Denmark.
Rikke emphasizes the importance of immersing oneself into the local culture, and thereby continuously learning from members of the community through their various social levels and positions in life. A specific focal point for Rikke is sustainability. She hopes to ensure that our work meets the actual needs of the locals and that we foster local involvement and local ownership in all of our projects.
Rikke holds a Master’s Degree in Development and International Relations and a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and International Business Communications (English/Spanish). As part of her Master’s Degree, Rikke served as the Project Manager to launch our first Vacation Activities Program (VAP) in 2010. She put great effort into the planning process and did everything she could to involve community members in promoting and supporting the program. She is proud that the Vacation Activities Program has become a huge success and is now an annual program that the children and their parents look forward to! For more information about Rikke, see: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rikkesoendergaard
Olman Flores Estrada (Honduras) is a member of the advisory board for Honduras Child Alliance. Olman was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and now lives in the town of Santa Ana along the north coast. He is a CPA and has a degree in Social Education and in the Administration of Projects for teenagers. Olman has spent much of his professional career working to care for and benefit children in Honduras. He has been a scout leader, Sub-Director of the Hogar de Amor y Esperanza orphanage, Project Construction Manager for FHIS (Fondo Hondureño de Inversión Social / Honduran Social Investment Fund), and Director of SOS Aldeas Infantiles in La Ceiba, Honduras. We are grateful for Olman’s insight and guidance as we prepare our volunteers for their work at the HCA projects.
Shawna Bayerman, M.S., L.D.N. (USA) is a registered dietitian currently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shawna received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition at Colorado State University where she designed a Promotora model to promote healthy eating in the Hispanic/ Latino community. At the present time she works in Camden, NJ as a clinical dietitian. She specializes in creating nutrition care plans in a variety of acute and chronic disease states. She also promotes grassroots efforts to increase government support of nutrition outreach as the Public Policy Chair-Elect of the Philadelphia Dietetics association.
Shawna first visited El Porvenir, Honduras in the summer of 2011 to volunteer. Her eyes were opened to the reality that children frequently only eat one meal per day and this meal typically lacked the nutrition that their bodies need to thrive. With a ceaseless desire to continue working with this community, Shawna came to Honduras Child Alliance in 2015 to help reformulate the Healthy Snack Program.
Shawna designs recipes that include nutritionally dense foods that are locally available. She shares a vision with HCA to include local community members in preparing these snacks to help teach about healthy eating while creating a sustainable healthy snack program.
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Kate Olden (USA) is a bilingual early learning specialist, currently living in San Antonio, TX. She has specialized in working with at-risk children since 2008. In Honduras, Kate has taught in a rural primary school, led workshops for early childhood educators, and assisted on projects researching education, teaching, and nutrition in rural areas. Kate’s work has also taken her to Bolivia and Cuba as a researcher of educational practices, but Honduras holds a special place in her heart. She holds a Masters in International Education from George Washington University and a Masters in Teaching Early Childhood from Trinity Washington University. Kate is currently working as a learning interventionist and is the designer and creator for her own line of handmade developmental toys and learning games at La Luciernaga Learning LLC. Her favorite job, however, is being a mom to her infant son, who inspires her to make this world better for all children and families.