60 Experiences on the Path to Development
26 October 2005

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Over a period of six months a group of energetic UN Volunteers traveled throughout the country to find the most interesting development experiences relating to health, education, environment, HIV/AIDS prevention and job creation among others.

In order to get published in this book the projects had to fulfill a number of criteria -- be ongoing, innovative and successful, have had high and positive impact on the local community, be cost efficient, easy to replicate and gender sensitive.

The experiences are classified according to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to serve as an inspiration of practical experiences that work and could be scaled up to achieve the goals everywhere in the world.
Thanks to the dedication and commitment of many stakeholders --entrepreneurs, co-operatives and NGOs -- Honduras is transforming and witnessing a new world being created, which offers a better future to thousands of people. An excellent example showing how private initiative can benefit development is the women cooperative “La Sureñita,” which started 10 years ago as a small business selling cashew nuts, to become a cooperative employing over 400 women and exporting to 8 countries.

Another successful company with a heart is “Atuto,” which started training poor communities in handicrafts-making and is currently exporting thier products employing 180 women and men. Part of the profit still goes to social projects and towards supporting a foundation, which helps children and old people.

Among the most innovative businesses included in the book is “Eco-Tec,” which trains municipalities in recycling and waste management and also constructs houses made of recycled plastic bottles in various parts of the country.

Development is never a one-person job. In order to succeed, co-operation and exchange of information between different stakeholders are essential.

The NGO “Red De Desarollo Sostenible” has managed to facilitate, through effective web marketing, the interchange and access to information between public and private sector and educate civil society in Honduras on many topics of sustainable development.

"Project Honduras" is also working towards connecting people involved in development by building a network that has brought more than 500 missions to Honduras, including doctors, educators, small micro-enterprise specialists, etc.

It is unquestionable that volunteering plays a key role in all of these experiences, and a good example is the initiative of the “Instituto Hondureño de Educacion por Radio,” which launched the program “El Maestro en Casa.” It provides volunteer teachers who visit poor people at their homes in order to offer them a practical solution to get access to formal schooling.

Social entrepreneurs have used their expertise and creativity for many years and managed to offer successful and practical solutions to solve specific problems, thus filling the gaps that are not covered by government and society.

Ideally in the future there should be a government department to support these social entrepreneurs so that their passion and creativity do not get lost and can instead be channeled towards replicating these successful models on a larger scale and help achieving the MDGs.

We believe that the stories of these social entrepreneurs will inspire and encourage many people who seek to construct a better world.

A World Under Construction… a book full of hope!

This page can found at: http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org/resources/publications/doc/60-experiences-on-the.html