Yo quiero Yo puedo (IMIFAP) has continued the work with the floods victims of Guerrero and Oaxaca. In addition o addressing the problems caused by tghe floods, we are starting to continue our earlier activities witht the community.
This time, we want to share a testimony of one the flood victims, Edith:
“My name is Edith and I’m forty years old. I’m from the community of Comaltepec in Guerrero. Yo quiero Yo puedo (IMIFAP) has come here to give us workshops, first the “I want to, I can” workshops. We have learned that if we want something, if we put our mind on something, we can be successful. We have learned (in their workshops) that we can achieve whatever we want. Principally it has been for the personal improvement, and from there… First we have to personally improve (our lives), and after that we can help and support our relatives, our children, we can guide them to take the best way. They (IMIFAP) have also given us (workshops) about community banks, where we can save and (with the savings) create our own income sources and sources of employment. There we will get to know each other better, as compañeras and can lend each other money from our own bank, first to one, then to the other and so on… At the moment we don’t have a community bank. We were working on that, to create our own community bank, when the floods came. That has held us off, because we have had to dedicate ourselves to the most important things, to our lives, how to survive, to deal with this thing that happened to us.
The things (the floods) got really ugly here. Especially for the people who live outside of the community, near the riverbanks. It got ugly because the river broke down and there were three currents. In this side, that is my area, there were people who got trapped in the fields, on the trees, they couldn’t get of the trees. They had to stay there for one night and one day, and it was only one day after they could be rescued, because the current was very strong. You could not pass there. They tried, but the current damaged things and it was impossible to pass until the other day. And many people lost their houses, the water damaged their houses, made holes in them and damaged them from below… the majority of the people lost it all… clothes, dishes, personal things, furniture… they didn’t have much things and they lost them all. The water took it all. It was very hard.
We want to thank you, I want to thank you in the name of my compañeros, my community… That you have helped us, from the first day… that you have come and helped us, to see how we were… you have brought us food, clothes, basic things… with the other associations. You have come to help us and we want to give you the thanks. Thank you for your support, both moral and with the basic needs.”
Our program “We want to stay at school!” has come to an end in Las Margaritas, Chiapas, and will continue in the state of Coahuila. We have achieved great success in Las Margaritas, and surpassed our original goals. We have contributed to the personal development of in total 704 persons: 33 teachers and educational authorities, 90 parents and caretakers and y 581 middle school students. The project was funded by MetLife, but without the additional support of our GlobalGiving donors, we wouldn’t have been able to reach as many children. For that, we offer you our deepest thanks!
The program had very positive results: the students have developed their life skills, increased their motivation to study and their capacity of solving problems and have now more positive attitudes a towards mathematics. We also found that the students have learned to get along better with their family members, teachers and other students. Their qualifications in mathematics have also improved thanks to the program. As two students put it:
“Before I didn’t like so much to go to the school, but after (the program) I started to like it a lot more, now I have good grades and all… Now I feel like it’s me who wants the grades and not my parents.” (Girl, 2nd grade middle school student)
“Before I didn’t communicate with my parents and my siblings but since we had the sessions on family coexistence, now we live more like a family, we talk… My dad took the workshop and since that we also started to communicate better.” (Boy, 3rd grade middle school student)
The teachers that participated in the program have increased their life skills (especially self-knowledge, personal agency, empathy and communication with their students). Teachers have been very content with the program, as this testimony shows: “I’m happy because the program has helped me personally, here at the school and as a person, with my family and my social surroundings… and also outside of school, it has helped me a lot.” (Teacher, 34-year-old woman)
The parents that have participated in the program have increased considerably the interest in the academic achievement of their children and participate now more in the activities of the school: “He (the son) has changed, he has put more attention to his studies and he has become more responsible already, and I as her mother have been there with him doing the homework and I know it has been difficult for him as he is restless, but he has committed a bit more… I tell him look, everything can be done if “I want to, I can”, no one is dumb, we are all intelligent.”
We want to thank everyone who has donated through GlobalGiving and made the program possible. Even though the program in Chiapas has ended, we continue our work so that marginalized Mexican children get better education. Currently, we are working in the state of Coahuila, in the North of Mexico, and we need some additional support from our donors at GlobalGiving. We will train 26 primary school teachers that will replicate the program with their 780 students.
Please help us to continue to provide support to children in Coahuila! Our work there will help children to continue their studies, improve their school achievement and learn about themes related to health and nutrition, prevention of obesity and diabetes and prevention of violence.
I would like share with you some of the results of our program “Help Children Left Behind in Mexico”. At the moment, 2,517 persons (657 adults and 1860 babies and children) have participated in our “I want to, I can” Child Development Centers in Hidalgo state. We have organized workshops for teachers, community promoters and parents and caretakers and the children have participated in different activities in the Child Development Centers and at school, depending on their age.
In December and January, we have been carrying out evaluations of our program. I´m glad to tell you that the evaluation of the babies and their parents have shown great results. We have been interviewing the parents and caretakers to get more information on the development of their babies, and in addition, we have realized different tests and observed the babies to corroborate the results. We have also compared the results with control group of children of the same age that do not participate in the program.
The evaluation shows that the babies that participate in the “I Want to, I can” Child Development Centers show higher levels of emotional, social and cognitive development and have better sleeping and nutrition habits than the babies that do not participate in the program. This means that the participant babies manage better their emotions, are less impulsive, irritable and aggressive and handle frustration better than the control group. They also communicate their needs better, cooperate more with other people, are more empathetic, smile more, play with their pairs and think more before acting.
In addition, all the babies that participate in the program show higher level of development than normal. At the same time, 72% of the babies in the control group show a deficient development level, which mean they are below the development level expected at their age.
All this shows that the program is really working. The early childhood development has an important impact in the later life. Giving these marginalized children a chance to get adequate stimulation, nutrition and care, together we can have a great positive impact on their future.
Thank you so much for your continuing interest and support for the children left behind in Hidalgo! Without people like you, we could not continue this important work!