Nov 5, 2020

Virtual narrative workshops have launched!

Dear friend and supporter,

We hope this update finds you well physically and emotionally during this challenging week. Gender equality is one of the most talked about issues in community development in recent times, and we are very grateful for your support and interest in reducing violence against women and girls in Mexico. As we mentioned in our previous report, the Community Narrative Practice (CNP) project has thankfully been able to continue more or less as plannedduring Covid-19, thanks to technology.  We are on track to begin sharing the illustrated storybooks with families in Ocosingo in early 2021. This is the moment we've all been waiting for! 

Before we begin implementation with families, we still need to complete the writing of a few more stories. Just last week, on October 30th, we began the five-part narrative writing workshop, which is being taught through the Webex Training platform in sessions of 5 hours each. Through this workshop Dr. Kathy Cash is training 4 people from Amextra´s central office and 8 people from the regional offices in Chiapas and Guerrero. One external support person is participating to systematize the experience and ensure that Amextra can replicate this workshop in other regions once the first pilot project in Ocosingo is complete and adaptions are made based on participant feedback. 

For the stories that are already created, we are working on finding the illustrators to give them the final touch, and make sure they can be understood and seen by all.  See the images below which are from the interview process so far.  We love to watch the project taking shape in the form of the completed stories and initial illustrations. 2021 is guaranteed to be a big year for this project and we are happy you´ll be here to share the advances. Next year we will be able to share specefic stories of people that have benefited, and ideas that have come into reflection because of all this preparation to make the project a great success.

 

Wishing you the best,


Stephanie and the entire Amextra team

www.amextra.org

Oct 20, 2020

Strengthening local leadership and more!

Dear friend, 

As you may know at Amextra, we believe in addressing health and nutrition in a holistic manner, working not only towards increased agricultural production but also alternatives to agrochemicals, clean water, breastfeeding workshops, hygiene workshops, and more. We want the families to make the most of the time spent with the regional team to ask questions, practice new techniques, and feel confident in replicating projects on their own. 

In the communities in the Highlands (Los Altos) of Chiapas thankfully there have not been cases of Covid-19, so small groups and families have been able to meet. Three of the areas we have been able to focus on from July to September 2020 are: 

Ointments for chicken pox. As part of the ethno-veterinary activities in the community of Canech, Tzacucum in Chiapas, we held a workshop on preparing natural ointments for chickens, in order for families to keep their birds healthy and strong. Four women and one man participated, obtaining 650 grams of the product that was distributed among the attendees.

Training of community promoters. The "community promoters" are people who, based on the knowledge acquired and the sharing of experiences, will be able to lead activities for the benefit of their community, including Tzacucum, Canech, Namtic, Xulumo, Tabilhucum and Santa Cruz in Aldama and Chalchihuitán, Chiapas; An educational meeting was held in which 12 women and 11 men participated, who learned about the importance of serving as a community promoter.

Healthy food preparation. Food preparation is a daily activity that involves various procedures and traditions, in the community of Canech in Chiapas we held a workshop on the use of peanuts in a traditional recipe, making small changes in the ingredients and preparation, in order to improve the nutritional characteristics of common local dishes. Eleven people from the community group participated in the workshop.

When combined, these projects and others allow the communities to improve their food sources and quality, as well as their leadership qualities that will allow them to begin new projects with the skills they have learned.  

As always, thank you for your support!  It is because of people like you that we are able to carry out these projects and change the lives of thousands of people every year.

Warmly,

 

Stephanie Ahlgrain

Manager of Fundraising and Alliances

Facebook: AmextraOficial

Twitter: Amextra Oficial

Instagram: AmextraMex

Sep 3, 2020

New Normal in Tultitlan: Covid-19

We´re coming up on the 6-month anniverssary of school closures for Covid-19 in Mexico, which became official on March 23, 2020.  During this time the support Amextra provides has been more important than ever. Not only have we continued providing academic support, we have also distributed food and hygiene kits to more than 180 vulnerable families in Tultitlán (183, to be exact!).  

The education coordinators that work with Amextra in Tultitlán have shown amazing creativity, flexibility and a spirit of service during these months, moving classes to the childrens houses (always in outdoor spaces like patios and following the Health Secretary recommendations for social distancing).  Both the children and the teachers were masks and keep a safe distance away while they review important math and language topics. 

At the same time, Julio, our phychologist, has been providing psychological accompaniment via the internet and WhatsApp; and the correct use of face masks, masks, glasses, hand washing, etc. is encouraged. Ruth, Jimena and Julio continue to work together on strategies for better teaching each child.

As the epidemiological "stop light" in Mexico advances (Tultitlán is currently in organge) we will be opening the community center up to more people gradually. We are also beginning to explore the project of installing more hand washing stations in Tultitlán, thanks to our long-time partner Agua Pura para el Pueblo. 

These last few months have been a test to our resilience and we expect the next few months to continue to be a challenge and a learning process. One thing that will not change is our committment to vulnerable families and our promise to accompany them in increasing their quality of life, through educacion, health, environmental care and income generation projects. This support is more important now than ever.

As always, thank you for joining us!

 

Stephanie Ahlgrain

Manager of Fundraising and Alliances

Amextra

www.amextra.org

 
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