Senior Neutral Joe Murphey Travels to Honduras for a Noble Cause

Senior Neutral Joe Murphey recently returned from a trip to the small village of El Rincon in Honduras. Joe traveled as a representative of the Rotary Club of East Cobb, a group with which he is actively involved. While there, Joe met students, parents, and educators who are beneficiaries of Lunches for Learning, a non-profit that provides healthy lunches for elementary school children in rural Honduras. He was accompanied by the nonprofit’s Executive Director, Phil Dodson.

The Rotary Club of East Cobb recently joined forces with Lunches for Learning to sponsor the school, Pedro Nufio. The partnership enables its students to continue receiving daily lunches. Whereas before it had a sponsor, no children attended the school, now Pedro Nufio is overflowing with students and has even added seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade classes.

According to Lunches for Learning, “statistics show that a (Honduran) child who earns at least a sixth-grade education has hope for breaking the cycle of poverty because he or she will learn basic reading, writing and math skills that open future doors.”

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world, and many children, particularly in rural areas, do not have access to education. Through Lunches for Learning, more than 1700 children in rural Honduras are now able to attend elementary school, because they know they will receive nourishment each day.

“Most of the students at Pedro Nufio walk 1-2 hours per day (each way) to attend the school,” said Joe. “And the seventh-ninth graders travel from farther distances, with some enduring 3-hour walks (each way) on unpaved, volcanic dirt paths.” He continued, “This is an incredible program that efficiently puts starving children, begging on the streets, back into school, breaking a multi-generational chain of poverty.”

Joe recounted a moment about his travels to and from Honduras: When offered a $100 upgrade from coach to first class for the 3-hour flight, he immediately seized on the opportunity to travel first class each way. During the flight there, he ate filet mignon and watched movies in comfort. But on the return flight, he reflected on his time with the families of Pedro Nufio and abstained from a steak and entertainment. “Some students walk 3 hours each way to get to school because they are no longer starving,” he said. “And it only costs $100 to feed one child for a full year; the same cost of my upgrade. That parallel puts so much into perspective, and this entire experience has touched me deeply.”

For more information about Lunches for Learning or how to support its cause, click here: www.lunchesforlearning.org