Our Little Roses Ministries (OLR) in San Pedro Sula (Honduras) is a real, loving home for around 70 girls. All of them are orphans, were abused or lived in extreme poverty before being welcomed there.
OLR was founded in 1988 by Diana Frade, wife of Leo Frade, Bishop of Honduras for 17 years. Thanks to her, all the girls who were abandoned or forced to leave school to take care of household tasks have been able to find a family, get an education and have hope for a promising future.
Before OLR existed, the girls who had nowhere to go were carried off to women’s prisons to get them off of the streets since, in Honduras, there are no government funds for social services to help children who are victims of violence, poverty or illness.
An opportunity to escape poverty
Frade decided she had to do something to help them. “Twenty-five years later we have a home that transforms the lives of these girls, the community and the entire country, to show that women were created equal to men by God and deserve to benefit from all the advantages, especially when it comes access to positions of responsibility, in which women are making a difference,” says Frade.
Today, more than 70 girls live in OLR´s two buildings. Most are under 18 years of age and live together in the main house, where they receive medical care, education and much-needed love and attention. The older girls live in a building called Transition Program to University. In addition, there is a medical and mental health clinic as well as a bilingual school where classes are taught in both English and Spanish.
This house is the only institution that exists in Honduras that is dedicated to welcoming and supporting homeless girls. “It’s a very important task because girls without education or social skills have very few opportunities to escape poverty,” Frade remarks. Thanks to the education received at OLR, among its former students you can find an engineer, a dentist and a businesswoman with her own beauty salon.
Healing through art and poetry
Art is one of the most used tools in OLR for the welfare of girls. Therefore, one of their most beautiful projects is led by the priest of the Episcopal Church and American poet Spencer Reece. With his help and guidance, the girls have written and illustrated a book with their own poems and short stories about their lives, dreams and feelings. It’s titled “12 Love Poems from The Murder Capital of the World.”
The book was edited by Spencer Reece and the poet of Spanish origin Richard Blanco and will soon be published in a bilingual edition, accompanied by a documentary film entitled “Las Chavas.”
“The love of these girls has totally transformed me. Many times they think the world has forgotten them, but thanks to this book and this movie everyone is going to become aware of the importance of these little angels’ lives,” says Reece.
“Las Chavas”, the documentary
In December 2012, director Brad Coley began filming several OLR girls at various stages of an early journey and tracking them through the course of one year. “Some are graduating. Others are just arriving. Some are sad to leave. Others feel trapped and want to leave. And a poet is teaching the girls to tell their story, he says. Actor James Franco is the executive producer of the film, and Dar Williams has composed the music.
Soon, Las Chavas will be shown at major film festivals so that the world becomes aware of the moving story of these girls. Its a beautiful mission in which everyone can get involved by making a donation or sponsoring one of the girls through their website. Are you ready to make a difference?