child walks with border patrol agent

A child rescued by Border Patrol — CBP photo by Donna Burton

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) continues to be engaged in the ministry of responding to the needs of unaccompanied children. Along the southwest border, every day Presbyterians are providing hospitality and tending to immediate needs of Central American mothers with their young children who are released from border patrol stations.  After being interviewed by border patrol agents and placed into immigration court proceedings, these families are given permission to go live with an approved relative or friend until their case is decided.  With no money or personal belongings, in the same clothes they were wearing when they arrived, these families find themselves on their own, hungry, often dehydrated, and disoriented.  Presbyterians have joined other people of faith to provide food, clothing, hygiene kits (see Gifts of the Heart), a place to rest for a few hours or spend the night, and assistance with getting Greyhound bus tickets that will take them to their destination.

Just a few hundred miles north of the border, in places like San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, Presbyterians are preparing the way to support Central American children in their new communities.  They are holding educational forums, and they are creating new volunteer corps, connecting with the local schools, legal service providers and community-based organizations to provide volunteers, in-kind donations and financial support.  For children still in shelters, Presbyterians are offering spiritual and emotional support. 

In Honduras, PDA is supporting the work of our partners in providing humanitarian aid and assistance to returning migrant children and adolescents unable to be admitted to the United States. This aid includes food, psychosocial care, health care and sanitation and hygiene services for some 1,000 children and teen-agers in a designated shelter in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.


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