Instituto Mexicano de Investigacion de Familia y Poblacion - IMIFAP

To create and implement programs which contribute to sustainable human development in order to allow individuals to take control of their own health, productivity, and lives.
Sep 11, 2014

September Update: "I have seen several changes in my students"

A teacher with her group
A teacher with her group

Hi,

I hope you are doing as fine as the children and teachers who participate in our program "Help marginalized Mexican children to study" in Coahuila! This program helps the marginalized students and their teachers to develop their life skills, such as decision-making, creativity, self-knowledge and assertive communication and reduce their psychosocial barriers such as guilt, shame and fear. Studies show that these skills are important protective factors against many social problems, such as violence, drug addictions and eating disorders.

Originally, our goal was to work with 26 teachers, 750 children and 650 parents. However, ou program has been received so enthusiastically, that we are working now with 891 children. In total, the program benefits 1571 persons (28 teachers, 891 students and 650 parents) in 17 primary schools in Torreon, state of Coahuila. The results have been postive and more schools in the area are interested in participating in the program. 

In the last report we shared with you the positive results of the evaluation with the teachers. The program evaluation has also shown positive effects in the students. After participating in the program, they have increased their life skills and have now better group work skills and manage better their emotions. They are also more motivated to study than before. 

A 28-year-old teacher in the "Dr. Habib Estefano" School told us his experience with his students after the first year of the program:  

"I have seen several changes in my students with this program... in their skills. There were children that were afraid to participate in the class... that were very self-conscious and reserved. They have now shown a different kind of attitude. I have managed to generate that motivation or confidence to particiopate... It has had many results. It is a process and there will be many difficulties, but this year I see that my group is very active and motivated... They have also learned to be thankful, even when they simply borrow a pen, for example. (...) (After the program) the children have also learned to think things before acting, to think what consequences there might be... Part of them already did that before. They have reacted in different ways, but yes, there was a change, thinking before acting, and expressing their feelings in different ways... One example is that they started to avoid aggressions. Before starting inmediately a fight they stopped... And we analized situations, they were reminded that ´everything has a cause´. That would be one example: aggressive children have started to control themselves more, to restrain (their anger)."   

This school year, we are continuing the work with the same children and teachers. The students will be now studying in the fifth grade in primary school. This year, the participants will continue to develop their life skills and we will work with them on new themes, too. This year, the program will be addressing healthy nutrition. In the Northern frontier of Mexico, bad food habits, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are a serious public health problem. Starting to work with the children in early age can make a lasting change. We also invite parents to participate in interactive conferences, so that the whole family can benefit from the knowledge and skills acquired in the program.  

With your help, this program can have major impact and change the lives of marginalized Mexican children in Coahuila. Thank you for continuing to support this great effort!

Program activities
Program activities
Everyone has their books!
Everyone has their books!
Sep 5, 2014

Can you prepare yourself for natural disasters?

First page of material for children
First page of material for children

Hi!

You can't prevent natural disasters. But can you be prepared for them? Sure you can. You might not be able to avoid all the damages, but if people are more prepared and know what to do in a case of natural disaster, its consequences can be at least less disastrous.

In Mexico, the hurricane season takes place between June and November every year. During these months, the coastal regions, including the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero are most vulnerable to suffer from natural disasters. In addition to storms and hurricanes, the coast of Guerrero and Oaxaca is also vulnerable to earthquakes. This is why it is important to not only attend the consequences of disasters, but also train the communities to be more prepared to the catastrophes. 

As Yolanda from Cuajiniquilapa commented to us: “We think it is important that people learn to prevent things when there is a catastrophe… What they can do to prevent diseases, for example. People have already lost so much, learning to manage all these emotions would also be important.”

To answer to these needs, Yo quiero Yo puedo (IMIFAP) has developed educational materials on what to do in case of natural disasters. The materials are brief and easy to read, with simple and concrete instructions in themes like: first aid; personal hygiene and hygiene in the house; taking care of the babies in a case of a disaster; how to store prepare food and water in order to avoid diseases; team work and management of emotions. There are materials for both adults and children, as it is important that children learn the basic instructions too. This way, they can participate in the activities to help their families and communities, be less vulnerable in case of losing family members and learn to be responsible citizens when they grow up.

The educational materials are important, but in our opinion, they can be more effective if they are used as part of a training process. The communities we work with, have expressed their interest in participating in workshops on these themes. This is why Yo quiero Yo puedo (IMIFAP) has also developed a 10-hour course for the communities. We will start implementing with three courses, two in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca during September. I’ll keep you posted!

Thank you for continuing to help the marginalized communities of Guerrero and Oaxaca! 

First page of material for adults
First page of material for adults
Jun 9, 2014

Time to say goodbye to Hidalgo

Hi!

Our program “Help Children Left Behind in Mexico” in the state of Hidalgo has come to an end. I would like to share with you the excellent results of this program that helps the children of migrant parents through our “I want to, I can” Child Development Centers. The Centers attend children aged 0-10 and their parents or caretakers through activities that promote child development, health and nutrition. In total, 2,517 persons (657 adults and 1860 babies and children) benefitted from the program.

As in all our projects, we evaluate the impact of the program. In this case, wwe have evaluated children who participate in the program and children who don’t (control group). In our last report, we told you how the babies who participate in the activities of our “I want to, I can” Child Development Centers in Hidalgo, have higher level of social, emotional de cognitive development that the babies who don’t participate.  I’m glad to tell that in other age groups, we also have made great advances.

The preschool children (aged from 3-6) who participate in the program, show higher cognitive development than their peers that didn’t attend the Centers. This means, that the children in our program think more before acting, understand adults better and have more control over their own acts that the children in control group. What comes to social interaction, 53% of children that participated in the program are extroverted and affectionate, while this happened with only 22% of the children who didn’t participate in the program. The children who participated in the program are also less anxious than the children who didn’t.

The positive results can be seen also in the primary school children who participated in the activities of the Child Development Centers. The children improved their life skills in a significant manner. For example, there was an increase in their capacity to resolve problems (47% before the program and 58% after the program) and in self-knowledge (43% before the program and 60% after they participated the program). After participating in the program, the children also know how to communicate more assertively (from 70% to 78%) and improved their capacity of team work (from 56% to 68%).

As one teacher put it:  “ (…) well now we see the children more sociable, very participative, they express their emotions, their feelings, they say what they feel, what they like, what they don’t like, although sometimes some (adults who haven’t participated in the program and are in favor of children being quiet and not expressive) say that they are more rebellious because of this”.

All these skills and abilities and better nutrition and health will help the Children Left behind to have a better future and aspire to leave behind the circle of poverty that is affecting them and their families.

I want to thank you so much for having participated in this project and supporting these marginalized children. Our next step is to help the Child Development Centers to continue their work independently, so that many many more children can benefit from this program. Please continue to follow us in Global Giving. Together we can make a positive impact! 

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