Every so often “me toca” as they say in Spanish- its my turn- to spend days and days, along with a small fortune to get a few necesary pieces of paper. AKA, red tape for my residency card. This has been one such lucky week. Not only have I been dealing with my Honduran residency card, I have warmed up by renewing my passport through the Embassy.
Really, you don’t understand. Trips to parts of town that are: 1. dangerous 2. have absolutely no parking 3. unknown to me. Waiting in line to get a piece of paper, leaving to go pay at a bank to finalize what is on the piece of paper, returning to wait in line to turn in the receipt from the bank. It seems that the rules change all the time, the process is very confusing and arduous.
For me, this red tape is a small inconvenience once or so a year. For hundreds of children in Honduras this is the difference between living in a center, being reunited with their family or being given the chance to be adopted into a permanent family. While I can pay a talented lawyer to take care of my case, these children’s lives and voices are underrepresented by a system that is overburdened. While I can find it in my budget to pay for all of the costs that come up along the way, many children’s legal cases stretch on for years because of lack of efficiency or lack of funds. Routine medical exams, a simple step in the process to declare the best interests of an abandoned child, can last for 6 months because the goverment doesn’t have the ability to liquidate these funds quickly. Every moment of ineficiency is a moment of institutionalization for a child who desparately wants to be in a family.
Through our project with Institute for Orphan Advocacy, Puerta al Mundo and IHNFA, we are making a difference. We are a team of dedicated professionals who work with the Honduran government to follow the cases of children who’s legal status is unknown. Through the efficiency of working in a non-goverment organization, financed by groups and individuals passionate about finding families for orphans, we are able to inject resources, accountability, passion and expertise into these processes. One small example: by allocating just $1200 for 2009, we are subsidizing the costs of medical exams, media publications and photos necessary for the process of determining the best rights of the child. If you want to get involved or donate, follow this link.