the OYE social media project: an open-source social media strategy for NGOs & educators
Over the next few months, we will be developing a social media campaign for a small, yet very capable NGO in Honduras; The Organization for Youth Empowerment. Through this blog, we will examine the effectiveness of a variety of social media components to increase the global awareness of a small local humanitarian non-profit, on a minimal budget.
We hope that you'll subscribe to the blog to follow the transparent process of promoting this extremely committed NGO in their efforts to better the lives of children in Honduras. If you are involved in social media, we think that you'll find these updates insightful. and we invite you to participate by contributing your own expertise and advice to this global effort.
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- OYE Intern, Christina Ramirez, is graduating! Congratulations Christina! Great work!... fb.me/18mNe1xpY 4 days ago
- Escucha a OYE Ritmo Online!! oyehonduras.blogspot.com/2013/05/radiou… fb.me/xklLNxJT 5 days ago
- If you click on one link today: oyehonduras.blogpsot.com Radio, Bulletin, and Revista Support youth devel #oyehonduras #youth @USAmbHonduras 5 days ago
- Developing a #recycling campaign with the municipal gov. and local school. Looking forward to the #EMU volunteers! 6 days ago
- Race4OYE DC Raises $2,750 for youth scholarships! Thanks to all the donors! oyehonduras.blogspot.com fb.me/2nBqZ62kl 2 weeks ago
- Final push for OYE! Support the racers and raise funds for scholarships crowdrise.com/OYEHondurasWas… 2 weeks ago
- Why volunteering at OYE is unique! bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-… #oyehonduras #summerinterns 2 weeks ago
- crowdrise.com/OYEHondurasWas… Final push to support RACE 4 OYE DC! 2 weeks ago
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Education empowers youth in Honduras.
From El Progreso, Honduras…a few hours ago.
This event is called “Alto al Hambre” or “End Hunger,” and is an initiative begun by the international NGO World Vision (Visión Mundial). World Vision established an office in El Progreso about 2 years ago and is reaching out to local NGOs. They identified OYE as a promising partner, and collaborated with OYE and it’s radio program to help organize this event. The kids on the drums were Garifuna youth from Proniño. Several local NGOs took part in the performances, events, and fund-raising to support the cause of ending hunger in Africa. This is one of the first events of its kind, as most initiatives in El Progreso are meant to raise money for local organizations or causes. Now, Honduran youth have identified and rallied around an issue of international importance. OYE staff, scholars, and the audience were caught up in the rhythm and joined the drummers on-stage.
From El Progreso, Honduras earlier today:
Nineteen year-old Gerald Velasquez’s family didn’t want him to pursue an education, encouraging him to find work instead…but he persisted on his own. Today he is attending a university in San Pedro Sula, and is the coordinator of OYE’s art program.
Art is a significant component of OYE’s educational approach. It helps build self-esteem, promotes developmental skills, provides self-expression, and keeps youth off the street by giving them focus.
From earlier today:
“I arrived to OYE last year. I’m in the art program, where I’ve learned how to draw. I’ve learned to work better with others, to fight for everything – for me and for the organization so the organization can grow. I’m always pushing forward.”
“I define myself as a person who fights for what she wants, who tries to better herself as a person, and who supports others. My family relationships are good. OYE has helped me economically. I might not be in high school now if it weren’t for OYE. We are a family of three sisters, and what we receive in OYE helps us to go to school. Practically, OYE’s the reason why I’m in school, because the money from OYE helps my sisters and me to go to school and buy our books. This is my last year, and there are more expenses. We go to school in the morning every day, and you have to spend money on food and all sorts of things. So OYE has helped us with that. We also receive capacity building, which motivates us and helps build our self-esteem.”
“Welcome to Radio Ritmo Online. Our motto is ‘My voice is power.’ This is where it all begins.”
Jarly is the oldest daughter of three children who have been raised for the past six years by their mother while their father has gone to the United States to find work. He sends money back to the family, but it’s been a long six years without him, and quite a hardship on Jarly’s younger siblings.
Through OYE, Jarly is able to learn the importance of leadership skills, and continue her university education in San Pedro Sula. She also serves as the coordinator of OYE’s radio program OYE EL RITMO, and has become a mother figure for many of the becados, or OYE scholars.
Jarly has come a long way from the girl who worked on a banana plantation years ago. Her dreams lie in technology and computers, and she is on her way to success thanks to the values and opportunities she has acquired at OYE, which she calls her second home. She has friends and she has a purpose. Her thesis on the political affairs of Honduras was chosen to become a capacity building class for other becados. While her situation is difficult and money is tight, Jarly has learned to make the best of what she has, not only for herself, but for others who depend on her as well. It is easy to see that she is strong-willed, reliable, and part of the glue that holds her family together, both at home and at OYE.
dinner with the Yanes family
Just a little while ago we were treated to a home-cooked meal by the Yanes family in El Progreso. Prepared by mom Maria, and the two sisters, Meredith and Yarly, we had baleadas (a thick flour tortilla prepared on wood-fired grill, filled with cheese and re-fried beans), tamales, and a pineapple-filed pastry for dessert.
There’s a group of graduate students from Columbia University here doing volunteer work with OYE as an alternative spring break, and Señora Yanes taught them all how to make tortillas from scratch.
Teaching seems to come naturally to Maria. She has taken it upon herself to provide education for the local children. There is no school in this neighborhood, so Maria, on her own, teaches children basic academic skills in the shade of a big tree. Terms like curriculum or skills development seem abstract when you have to concentrate on such fundamental things as having no actual physical structure to teach in.
Maria’s daughter, Yarly, is extremely active in OYE’s programs to provide education for children in and around El Progreso. More about Yarly next week.
Dear Richard and all of the supporters of the 18 Rabbits Project:
I am writing to extend our thanks from Honduras as we prepare to work with 18 Rabbits on this fascinating experiment in social media. As a small NGO with a very large mission, OYE can use all of the support it can to create positive social change from within Honduras’s booming youth generation. At this juncture in OYE’s history, we could not have come across a more innovative, creative, and inspiring opportunity, and we are forever grateful.
I am also writing to provide a local view of the current issues that Honduran youth face here every day. As many of you may know, Honduras remains the second poorest country in Central America. In 2007, 60% percent of households were living below the poverty line, with 35% in extreme poverty. Low economic resources affect students’ capacity to continue with their educations. In 2007, fewer than 30% of Honduran youth were registered at an educational center, with over 615,000 youth who neither worked nor studied. An estimated 97,000 youth drop out of high school each year to work to support their families.
“An estimated 97,000 youth drop out of high school each year to work to support their families.”
The question remains – what are those youth doing who are not working the formal market or studying? Unfortunately, we know the answer. Many are drawn to a negative life path, which includes drugs, violence, and criminal involvement. Youth commit the largest percentage of violent aggressions in Honduras, which places them at great risk of violent death. According to Casa Alianza, 2 youth die in Honduras every day as a result of violent death. Because of organized crime, Honduras ranks as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, who cannot express themselves freely without serious risk to their lives. More recently, CNN ranked San Pedro Sula as the world’s most dangerous city given it has the highest homicide rate per capita.
“Because of organized crime, Honduras ranks as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, who cannot express themselves freely without serious risk to their lives.”
The difficulties don’t stop there. Honduras places first in the region with the largest number of gang members who form part of approximately 112 different gangs. Youth participate in these gangs for a variety of reasons: disintegrated families, lack of employment, illiteracy, lack of self-esteem, the search for identity, the lack of recreation and sports, marginalization, economic inequality, alcohol consumption/drug use, frustrations with the educational system, being victims of abuse, and proceeding from families with a history of violence, among other factors. They seek stability in unstable places since they believe that is their only option.
This is where OYE comes in. Because the Honduran State’s response has not been sufficient enough to counter these devastating trends in violence, educational dropout, and unemployment, NGOs like OYE serve as ways to address and correct for issues that the state has not effectively controlled. OYE’s mission as a community-based, youth-led organization is to develop the leadership and capacity of at-risk Honduran youth who might otherwise be drawn to the negative life path. OYE’s integrated development approach combines formal education, youth capacity building, and community engagement through the arts, journalism, sports, and communications to inspire and equip young people with the awareness and skills they need to take control of their lives. Ultimately, OYE promotes the free expression of socially conscious youth who will emerge as the agents of positive change that our country so desperately needs.
“Ultimately, OYE promotes the free expression of socially conscious youth who will emerge as the agents of positive change that our country so desperately needs.”
We operate in El Progreso, Honduras’s third largest city, which sits in the shadow of the world’s most violent city. We carry on with our work because we know we have to. Otherwise our youth would just be more numbers in statistics that we as Hondurans are not proud to own. We, along with the youth we work with, believe that we can change the trends, one educated student and one impacted community at a time.
I hope that some of you have found this information useful, and we look forward to working with Richard and 18 Rabbits in a few days. Many thanks from everyone at OYE.
Director of OYE