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!
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!
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.