Why your support for children who want to continue their education is crucial!
Hi! We are bringing you exciting news!
Today, we will present some of the big advances that we have made in Mexico’s region of Torreon, Coahuila. First, it is crucial to understand the current social state of Mexico, particularly the northern regions of the country. There have been several problems regarding violence, gangs, drug cartels and “sicarios” (hired assassins), affecting the overall security of Mexico. Some of the region´s children have become orphans due to violence. Although not all children fall victim to this unfortunate situation, most of them have directly or indirectly been dragged into the violence of the region. For example, becoming a hitman or “sicario” is a cultural aspiration for much of the youth. This title holds the characteristics of being powerful and invincible, being the protector of their own family, and being respected and admired by others in the community. This stereotype has drastically impaired the social functioning of communities. At Yo Quiero Yo Puedo (I want, I can... IMIFAP), we feel that the lack of education in many northern regions of Mexico is greatly responsible for this interminable circle of constant violence.
Not everything is lost! You are helping these children, against all odds, to have real opportunities; and we are seeing results! With a strong enforcement on education and better livelihood, our program is finally helping the community of Torreon, Coahuila.
Last year, we reached our goal of engaging 891 students into our program. Today we are reaching 995 students, 31 teachers, and 650 parents directly. At the end of the year we will reach a total of 1676 direct beneficiaries and 5028 indirect beneficiaries. (Remember that this is only in Torreón, Coahuila).
This is all thanks to your support!
We are working with other donors (foundations, enterprises, etc…) to achieve our goals. So why is your individual funding so important? As for everything in life, resources are restricted. Your funding has helped us to expand those boundaries and reach more people to participate in our program. Every extra child, teacher and parent is because of your support! And every extra child, teacher and parent is worth the effort. We need you! There are still more children that we can reach. We (together you and our foundation) will support them to continue their studies and improve their quality of life.
To conclude we proudly present to you two inspiring testimonies showing our progress:
“[Some students] are acknowledging their mistakes… they say, ‘yes, I did that’… they try to recognize and rectify their mistakes. [The program] is something that has worked a lot for me, in my personal and professional life.” -A teacher replicating the program with their students.
“It is so exciting, the [positive school] environment that the program has generated, because I have learned to create a good and fun climate in the classroom. It was very motivating to me, because I went motivated to the school and [the students] felt how I was feeling… I based [my class] in motivational way with fun things; fun, but with learning. Through new group dynamics and games, we created an experienced-based climate. I am very motivated to work with them (the students).” -Another teacher replicating the program with their students.
Thank you for your continuous support and making a difference for the lives of so many underprivileged Mexican children, teachers, and parents! You can further help by sharing these stories with your networks!
Until the next time (to present more successful reports)!
PS. We share with you some pictures of our work with teachers during workshops (soon more children photos).
We hope you had a great start to 2015. We began this year in Coahuila with lots of excitement and a variety of activities.
During January we adapted and handed over new didactic material to teachers and students; we also held a workshop with key education authorities in Coahuila state (the Director of Educational Innovation and Quality of the state, primary principals, area supervisors and pedagogical technical advisors) to sensitize them about the "Yo quiero, Yo puedo" program (Education and Gender Program in Primary Schools in Torreon).
Additionally, we held an extra 10 hour workshop for some teachers that could not attend to all the workshop sessions for them to be fully prepared for replicating the program with their students.
We are very excited because of the activities we have planned for the next months!
In March we will make 54 accompaniment visits to the teachers: we will guide them and give them feedback for an optimal application of the program with their students. We will also organize 17 workshops for parents so they can know more about our program and how they can implement it at home.
After March we plan to make a second accompaniment visit to the teachers and 2 educational fairs for students, parents and community members to have access to the information we develop in the program. Community integration is a key factor and teachers have noticed positive changes in this área. For example:
"This program has proven very useful for me: I have learnt to communicate better with the parents of my students; before, I was always arguing with them and now we don’t. I also achieved a better understanding of the teaching needs of my students." a teacher
We also want to give a book supply to all participant school libraries to promote interest in reading!
This, of course, could not be possible without the support of the Caterpillar Foundation and each one of your donations. We invite you to continue supporting all these children; please share our results: 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!
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!
I’m glad to tell you that our program “Help marginalized children to study” is going well. As we told you in our last report, our school-based program in Chiapas came to an end and we are now working in the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico. Let me first tell you a bit about Coahuila and then share our results so far.
27.9% of the population of Coahuila lives in poverty and 31% of the population over 15 years old hasn´t finished the basic education. This is why it is important to work for education in the state. Due to organized crime and drug trafficking, the state has lots of security problems. The education will also protect children of many of the social problems that they may encounter, like violence, substance abuse and participation in gangs.
In Torreon, Coahuila, we are working with 1,571 persons (28 teachers, 891 students and 650 parents). We have already implemented a 40-hour workshop for the teachers of 17 primary schools in Torreon.
The evaluation of the teachers shows that after participating in our workshop, the teachers have increased their knowledge about how to improve the academic achievement of the children (e.g. teaching strategies and techniques, gender issues, promoting student participation). They have also increased significantly their life skills, especially self-knowledge, identification and management of emotions, empathy, creativity, decision-making and planning and organization. They now feel more empowered and more capable of promoting the academic achievement and talents in their students than before the workshops.
The skills and didactic techniques that the teachers have developed thanks to our program, will help them improve their teaching skills and to promote the life skills in their students. The teachers have been replicating the workshops contents with their students with the help of our facilitators who visit them to give them feedback and to monitor the quality of the replication. We are evaluating the impact of the program also on children and will soon tell you the results. In June, we are also giving conferences to parents, so that they learn how to best support their children’s education.
Thank you for continuing to help us! With your support, the marginalized children in Coahuila can have a better future.
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