I wish you a very happy and prospective New Year!
In our last report, we told you we had planned to implement 10-hour workshops for the communities in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, so that they could be better prepared for the natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes that are common in the costal area of Mexico. However, due to the internal community dinamics and the times of the three chosen communites, we haven't been able to implement the training yet. The new plan is start in January or by latest in February.
Even though this might seem like a setback, this delay actually has proved to be fruitful. During the last months, we have had the opportunity to collaborate with civil protection authorities in the state of Hidalgo. While these authorities are experts on prevention and preparation for disasters caused by both the nature and the humans, they have asked us to work with them in the theme of life skills, such as decision-making, planning, management of stress and management of emotions. It is important that both the authorities and the civilian population can develop these skills that are very helpful in a case of natural or man made disasters.
This collaboration with the authorities in Hidalgo has given us new perspectives and ideas that we want to apply also in Guerrero and Oaxaca. For example, how the communitie can more easily identify risk zones and how they can deal with the risks more efficiently. One interesting idea that emerged in Hidalgo is also the training of community teams for civil protection. These teams could have a permanent character and could help the civil protection authorities in a case of a risky situation or a disaster. Training these teams in intercommunitary communication in order to implement more effective actions would also be important in the communities in Guerrero and Hidalgo. After training community members in general, we can start the second phase of the project to trian these community teams.
We are very excited to incorporate all these new learnings to this project!
Thank you for your support!
December is a time of giving and loving. We appreciate all the support you have given and will give to our program “Help marginalized children to study” in Coahuila and I’m glad to tell you that the programs is giving good results!
We have already told you about the positive results of the program with the teachers. The evaluation of the children shows that our program is not only showing positive effects in the teachers, but also in the children. They have increased their knowledge on gender equality, the importance of school achievement and civic values. They have also improved their attitudes towards gender equality, which is important in Mexico, where traditional gender stereotypes still tend to limits girls’ and women’s development, especially in marginalized communities. After participating in the program activities, they now show positive attitudes towards finding and developing their talents. As the students have commented:
“In life, we sometimes fall, stumble and bump into obstacles; the important thing is to know ourselves so that we can move forward and succeed.” (A 9-year-old girl)
“Today I learned what I´m good at and what I need to practice to improve things that are difficult for me”. (A 10-year-old boy).
These good results motivate us and the teachers to continue with the program. During this semester, the teachers have participated in new workshops to increase their knowledge on healthy nutrition and to continue to develop their life skills and improve their teaching skills. They have also started to replicate these new skills and knowledge to their students. At the moment, we are evaluating the effects of these new workshops in children and teachers, so that we can give you more results soon. The teachers have been happy with the training, as their testimonies show:
“After the workshop, I have more confidence in my abilities and I feel more confident about working with my own areas of opportunity. I want to be an agent of change.”
“The participation of the children has left me surprised, I didn’t think that they would have that capacity to grasp the theme, in addition, the programs helps them emotionally to give better results. (…) I´m also using the guidebook with my own daughters.”
“I’m surprised with the way the group is answering (to the program), they like the program very much and answer to it in a way I didn´t expect.”
I’m sure you can see their happiness also in the pictures we’re sharing with you!
During these Holidays, you can give a lasting gift to the children in Coahuila. Your contribution will help them to continue their studies, learn skills that will serve them for their whole life and help them to break the circle of poverty.
Thank you so much!
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:
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!