Since 2006, SOL has been operating in the community of Sandy Bay in Roatan. Six nights a week, the Community Courts provide a safe space for free play. Little kids clamber on the playground, have fun with sidewalk chalk, hula hoop and get creative with games. The bigger they get the more you see pick-up basketball games and some intense soccer match-ups. In 2018, we added Street Hockey and Skateboarding classes at the courts. The courts are also home to the Sandy Bay Seastars, our indoor volleyball teams.
HAVEY LEARNING CENTER IN THE CENTER FOR COMMUNITY GROWTH
In late 2016, we opened our Havey Learning Center within the Center for Community Growth, a partnership with BICA (Bay Islands Conservation Association). The center provides nutritious meals, a safe place to play, learning enrichment, arts, education, counseling and resources for health, conversation, sustainability, and the environment. It is also home to our SOL Roatan office and BICA's offices and laboratory.
The government education system is struggling to meet the most basic needs of youth here on Roatan. Families lack resources to purchase uniforms and school supplies. Children are often forced to leave school to work. These problems are amplified after 6th grade, when children are forced to travel further for government school. SOL works to ensure the kids in our program are afforded the opportunity of an education regardless of finances. Programs include:
Backpack and school supplies distribution
Scholarships to cover transportation costs
Scholarships for private school tuition
Nursing and medical scholarships
SOL provides opportunities for boys and girls to be a part of something larger than themselves, through supporting existing programs and establishing new youth programs.
Baseball: We constructed a youth baseball field in West End, providing a home for several Little League teams.
Volleyball: Supporting both indoor and beach volleyball for many years, our youth have traveled to the mainland and internationally, representing Honduras. In 2015, an official beach volleyball court was added to the John J Woods Field of Dreams complex in West End.
Soccer, Track & Field, and Basketball: SOL is steadily increasing our support of these sports through travel scholarships, equipment, uniforms, and organizational assistance.
COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE
Our newest project, the Green Space is located directly behind our Center. Beautifully defined by two majestic mango trees, the space is home to our ever-evolving recycled playground and our teaching gardens. We are working on our repurposed trash planters and perimeter wall. Maybe we'll even get a tree house eventually.
HAPPY TUMMIES ACTIVE MINDS
Launched May 2017, this program focuses on providing nutritious meals to at-risk children. We serve free breakfast to any child who walks in the door of our Center. The Junior Chef program teaches children the basics of healthy creative cooking (and some fancy stuff too). We recently planted our first herb and vegetable garden to help supply the program. In just one year, we served almost 10,000 meals to children in the Sandy Bay community.