“Mommy, where’s my dad?” It’s the question that day by day five-year-old Max asks his mother Lola, one of the 15 single mothers who seeks refuge at PAHS. Lola simply evades her son’s question and changes the subject. Just like she did, her children are growing up without knowing their father. Four decades ago, at the age of two, Lola came to our children’s home. She was not malnourished or sick, but her mother did not have the resources to sustain her. Lola was always characterized as a devout and responsible lady. She finished her high school and received the opportunity to study at Unadeca, the Adventist University of Central America located in Costa Rica. She spent a year studying nursing; however, the “bad decisions” that she made occasioned that she abandon college. Years later, she bore her first son, Elden, who is now 14 years of age, and then she had Max. Both children have different fathers whom they do not know. The bad decisions that Lola made when she left the university has made her carry the responsibility of raising two young children, without work and without financial resources.

Lola sees the need to seek assistance for her children from the same institution that she grew up at and that gave her many chances. “When you have the responsibility of raising children alone it is difficult because you have to play the role of mom and dad, and you had to work hard to provide education. I prayed to God, and He enlightened me to return to this place,” says Lola. Elden, her eldest son, is now in seventh grade and is happy to be able to receive education, and Max will start school next year. Lola is considering a sewing course at the Technical School. Along with her son Elden, Lola was re-baptized, and they are now active members of our church.

However, there is one more factor added to the complication of becoming a single mother. Although Lola was 27 when she had her first child, there are many young girls that become single mothers at as young as fourteen years old. The statistics show that of every 1,000 pregnant women in the country, 140 are teenagers. Such is the case with *Maria, who at age 16 became pregnant. This was the same year that she was to graduate from high school. She hid her pregnancy for four months and managed to finish school. She is an intelligent young woman who was highly likely to achieve her dreams and is much appreciated by everyone at our institution, but the birth of her son changed her plans. Three years have passed and in this time she has had to overcome many obstacles; Maria lost her scholarship to study and now she has to work to provide support for her son. She is aware that the bad decisions that she made as a teenager are affecting her life. Unfortunately, this is the reality of many young girls in Honduras. Despite having the opportunity to be successful in life, many continue making bad decisions.

At PAHS we do not give back to these young people— they receive one more chance. We provide them a home, many of them work in different departments of the institution, and they are provided an education for their children. They are not alone—we are here, but most importantly God is always with them!

Now, thanks to a special project from government, called CEPUDO, many of our young single mothers will receive the opportunity to have a house. This organization will make the construction, and PAHS provided them the land. These ladies will not worry anymore for pay a rent, or for not having a house for their children, now they will have the opportunity to have their own home, we praise the Lord for this gift.

*It´s not a real name.

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