On April 5, 2018, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Honduras organized the first meeting of the Community of Practice on Gender and Social Inclusion. Formed as a result of USAID/Honduras’ gender-based violence prevention workshop held in late 2017, the Community of Practice on Gender and Social Inclusion aims to promote a space for the exchange of lessons learned and best practices for how projects financed by USAID in Honduras can implement a socially-inclusive approach in prioritized communities.
The Community of Practice on Gender and Social Inclusion is made up of representatives from 15 civil society organizations, government organizations, and USAID-funded projects, and is growing. There were 30 participants at April’s meeting. Empleando Futuros shared its experience with social inclusion, presenting on some of the priority actions included in its Gender and Social Inclusion Strategy, including:
- Development of sensitization processes at various levels, such as staff, community organizations, facilitation and mentoring teams, and vocational training centers;
- Review of training materials to ensure they take an inclusive approach and promote inclusive classrooms;
- Development of alliances with specialized organizations that target the most vulnerable communities, such as the LGBTI community, the Garifuna ethnic group, and youth with disabilities.
During the presentation, Junior Avilés, an Empleando Futuros youth mentor who is a member of the Garífuna community, shared some of his achievements and challenges in his work with his community. A key takeaway from the meeting was that implementing an inclusive approach is a constant learning process that comes with many challenges, but is also very enriching for the intervention communities and for the projects themselves.