For nearly 20 years, the 140 students who attend the Infracnovi Center for the Visually Impaired had to learn in cramped temporary quarters after their original school was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. But all that has changed with the completion of the new Infracnovi Center, thanks to a donor with a big heart for serving the poor.
Many from the community attended the much-anticipated inauguration of the school last month. It is the 100th school built by Food For The Poor donors and CEPUDO, which oversees all of the charity’s projects in Honduras, and much of the distribution of goods sent by Food For The Poor to that country.
The school was relocated after the deadly hurricane in 1998 but the temporary space lacked room to accommodate all of its services and properly care for the children. In addition, getting to school was challenging for children who use wheelchairs, with the nearest bus stop six blocks away.
The new Infracnovi Center is in a much more central location on land donated by the municipal government. It has sufficient room to serve as a school for kindergartners as well as a community training center. Now, the children are in a healthy and safe learning environment.
A New York businessman helped to make the dream of a new Infracnovi Center a reality through the international relief and development organization Food For The Poor. Bobby Taglich, who owns an investment firm with his brother, wanted to help the children after hearing about their plight.
“The facilities were very dilapidated. If you had a child in need in this country, you wouldn’t want to send your kid there,” Taglich said. “The pictures were very moving, seeing these kids in need.”
Over the past 24 years, Taglich has helped Food For The Poor build homes and schools and established agriculture and bee farming projects in countries served by Food For The Poor. His wife, Silvia, first heard about Food For The Poor from a member of the charity’s Speakers Bureau, comprised of retired clergy members who travel to churches around the United States, sharing the charity's mission.
“It’s hard for me to live the way I live and see people who are less fortunate, living in slums or who are starving or not having access to education,” said Taglich, explaining his motivation to give back to others.
The Franciscan Institute for the Education of the Blind (Infracnovi) is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by the Franciscan Priest Fray Nery Aguirre. It has a strong component of community outreach, providing a foundation for true rehabilitation and inclusion of blind people into a productive life.
Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma attended the inauguration in July. Other notable attendees included Honduras’ First Lady Ana García de Hernández.
“As beautiful as the building was, what stole my heart very early on was seeing the children there,” Aloma said. “The kids and adults were all dressed up for the occasion. They sang, danced rock ’n’ roll, played musical instruments and made beautiful speeches. It made me realize that God does not limit us; we limit ourselves.”
Aloma said there is nothing more important to breaking the cycle of poverty than education, and that includes ensuring that schools are equipped to serve the students.
“We are so very thankful to Bobby Taglich for all that he’s done for the students and families of the Infracnovi Center for the Visually Impaired. He truly has a heart for the suffering poor,” Aloma said.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5% of our expenses; more than 95% of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.