Melel Xojobal A.C.

Melel Xojobal is a children's rights organization based in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Our mission is to promote and defend the rights of indigenous children and young people through participatory educational programs that improve their quality of life. At Melel Xojobal we work in a participatory manner to promote the strengthening of indigenous cultural identity, to defend human rights, to strengthen personal and cultural dignity, to ensure that justice and liberty are respected, and that the participation of all is ensured regardless of race, gender, creed, religious affiliation or ideology. We believe that education is a fundamental means by which people exercise self-de...
Feb 20, 2015

2015 begun and this is what we are working on

Media education
Media education

The project continues to work toward its target of maximum enrolment of school age children and higher completion rates of primary and secondary level schooling. Through these strategies:

Consultation for birth certificates procedures

a) An annual campaign for the right to an official identity, running from January to May.

The goal is to educate families about the importance of birth registration as a means to fulfill the right to an identity for their children.

b) Briefings with families to explain the requirements of the procedure.

c) Collect and check documents and take them to the civil registration.  Melel provides this essential service since many indigenous parents do not speak Spanish

d) Delivery of birth certificates to Melel ´s office.

 Increasing awareness about the importance of formal education

a) Educational work with mothers and fathers:

We are having meetings with parents whose children do not attend school to talk about the importance of education for children.

b) Community Work:

We are implementing an awareness campaign about the right to education for children. We are designing and printing materials for the campaign in Spanish and Tzotzil Mayan to share in public spaces. We are also producing radio-spots in Spanish and Tzotzil to broadcast on local radios stations. 

 Educational work with children and adolescents 

a) Through educational activities called “learning circles”, educational resources are offered to children to help them develop social skills to strengthen school attendance. Using different methodologies, children learn about their rights to identity and education. We are also helping them to improve their reading and mathematical skills and technological literacy. 

Activities are conducted twice a week (morning and evening) in the spaces where children work.

b) Social circus workshop. The practice and performance of circus skills can help generate new non-violent practices of social relations centered on a culture of good treatment and gender-equality.

Scholarships

33 children and adolescents are benefit by the scholarships program

"Learning circles"
"Learning circles"
Educational activities at the craft market
Educational activities at the craft market
My birth certificate!
My birth certificate!
Educational activities at the South Market
Educational activities at the South Market

Links:

Nov 17, 2014

Here's what we've done in 2014

Learning activities
Learning activities

The year is coming to a close and we want to share with all our GlobalGiving donors a summary of the year´s achievements.

We have helped obtain over 90 birth certificates for working children.

We have given over 200 educational sessions in areas where children work and at Melel.

We have completed an investigation into the number of working children in San Cristóbal de las Casas and the type of work that they do.  

We have given weekly ´social circus´ workshops.

We gave the sixth Gathering for Working Children, where the children had the opportunity to talk about the things that matter to them.

We have given two press conferences; one to discuss the right to education and the other to discuss violence against women. Both conferences were led by children.

We gave a summer theatre workshop for working children where the theme ‘a life free from violence’.

31 children have received scholarships to enable them to attend school.

In total, over 300 working children and adolescents have benefitted from our programs. Thanks to the generosity of our GlobalGiving donors these children are able to continue having access to the education and services to which they have the right.

Thank you GlobalGiving!

Second gathering for girls and adolescents
Second gathering for girls and adolescents
Fair trade workshop fo artesans
Fair trade workshop fo artesans
My rights are....
My rights are....
Social circus
Social circus
Aug 13, 2014

Working children holds a press conference

Press conference
Press conference

On june 7th, Melel Xojobal together with working children and adolescents, held a press conference. The subject was "for our right to a quality education"

Over 60 people attend including media and education autorithies. The working children and adolescents share their worries about the difficulties of the educational system in Chiapas, specially for people with low income.

Some of the statements were:

"No every children attend to school, no everyone can afford it or there is children without birth certificate"

"In some schools, there is not water in the toilets and they don´t provide security, anyone can access and some times drunk men enter into the schools"

"The teachers do not respect our culture, there are currently no bilingual teachers (tsotsil)"

The government continues to violate the right to education of the most vulnerable children. The first cause of dropout school, is because the families don´t have money to pay transport, books, uniforms and material. The free school system is "not free" after all, some quotas are charge to the families and some school teachers even charge money for material and tests. And the school conditions in some cases are awful, without toilets or roof. 

The interesting thing about this activity was that the media among other people had the opportunity to listen to the children speaking about their rights; very often we think that children do not have the ability to decide on their lives and their rights; but Melel´s approach is different, we know they can make desicions for themselves and be protagonits of their lifes.

Sharing a story about violence at her school
Sharing a story about violence at her school
Public
Public

Links:

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