Community Project in Honduras Promotes Safe Return to School
With the objective of reducing the impact associated with COVID-19 in the communities surrounding its operations in Honduras, Fyffes and its melon subsidiary SOL Group recently implemented the Safe Return to Classes project, benefiting more than 6,600 children in 30 educational centres.
For two months, the community project focused on providing sanitary and hygiene supplies, personal protective equipment, and training on biosafety to school staff, teachers and students with the aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide a safe educational environment.
According to the Honduran Ministry of Education, about 12,000 Honduran schools and colleges lack proper sanitary conditions for a safe return to blended classes for the 2022 school year. In addition, a survey conducted by SOL Group in the communities surrounding its operations revealed that approximately 60% of the local educational centres did not have the proper biosafety measures, while the remainder had deficiencies in this area.
In response to these findings, SOL Group and FUNDAHRSE (Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility) have partnered to develop and implement the Safe Return to Classes project, which managed to deliver:
- 150 biosafety stations in 30 schools in nine municipalities
- Supply of gel and alcohol dispensers and face masks for at least three months
- Training for 60 teachers in biosafety and prevention measures
For Michael Flethes, Sustainability Coordinator of SOL in Honduras, the project allowed the company to engage with the local communities through their educational centres and learn first-hand about the challenges to prevent COVID-19. Mr. Fletes adds: “We believe that facilitating a safe return to school provides students in our communities with the opportunity to continue learning without interruptions and have greater chances of improving their quality of life.”
The Safe Return to Classes project is part of Fyffes continuous efforts to achieve its global sustainability target: ‘100% of Fyffes neighbouring communities are engaged in resilient socio-economic community projects out of our four community investment areas –education, nutrition, gender equality, climate change resilience– by 2030.’