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Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico

by Yo Quiero Yo Puedo
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico
Educate and Empower Girls in Rural Mexico

Dear GlobalGivers,

Wow, three years have flown by since we started working with the students of Acaxochitlán (pronounced Ah-kah-tzo-cheet-lhan), Hidalgo!

In August, we told you about how much has changed since we started this program and the men wanted us to leave for talking about sexual and reproductive health (even though teen pregnancy is one of the biggest reasons why girls drop out of middle school). From participatory sessions with parents to workshops with teachers, to in-classroom activities with girls and boys, we have been hard at work with the community to reduce the school drop-out of indigenous girls by changing social norms and reducing teen pregnancy, dating violence and addictions.

Since that last report, our evaluation team has been pouring over all three years of evaluation data, and we are excited to share the results with you.

Today, girls in Acaxochitlán have achieved:

  • Strong practices that prevent violence
  • Strong practices of gender equity
  • Strong practices that promote healthy masculinity
  • Strong knowledge on pregnancy prevention and STIs.

Listening to how these girls talk about their dreams, you know their world is forever opened. And their male peers now express masculinity in a healthy way and know how to prevent pregnancy and violence. Thank you for making this change possible! You should be proud of what you helped achieve.

Looking to the future, we have results that enable us to us strengthen the program further. The evaluation shows that with each passing year, teachers obtain more and more knowledge on the different risks, and continue to build their skills on how to address them in their classrooms. Parents, however, still need more support. And the evaluation found that students grow a lot in the first two years of the program, but not as much in the final year. This gives us important insights that girls and boys can be reached primarily in the first two years, and then in year 3 work more heavily with those who raise them, lead them and teach them.

We have shared these results with partners across the United States and Latin America. Your impact is reaching girls not just in our program, but in programs around the region. Thank you!

We can´t wait to tell you about what is coming next. Stay tuned!

With gratitude,
Yo quiero Yo puedo

Dear GlobalGivers,

It is the end of another school year, and we couldn´t be more proud of how this third year of work in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo has gone. You should be too, because you made it possible.

When we arrived in Chimalapa, Acaxochitlán, the men were uncomfortable with us talking about sexual and reproductive health (even though unplanned pregnancy is one of the biggest reasons why indigenous girls drop out of middle school here) and they wanted us to leave. The Chimalapa parent association insisted to these men on the importance of the program. And today, we are excited to share that in our last “Yo quiero, yo puedo” parent workshop of the year, there were quite a few men in the room participating. We have made sure to do some of these parents sessions with men and women separately, to ensure that the women can speak up too, and not just the men to whom the society affords a voice.

We have reached over 700 girls and boys in over 40 classrooms across indigenous Acaxochitlán this year. We even got to reach younger students, in 4th grade, thanks to all the support from donors like you. See one of these girls, Esmeralda, tell you what she thinks about gender equality, in the video below.

And watch the video of Cirilo talk about the change he has seen in the community, and his daughter and son, as a result of the program. We will be back soon with the evaluation results from Year 3!

With gratitude, 

Yo quiero Yo puedo

Links:

What is looks like when teachers replicate!
What is looks like when teachers replicate!

Dear GlobalGivers, 

You have met Melanie on camera, one of the many empowered girls who is still in school thanks to your support, and you have seen Pepe and Lucy, key educational figures for changing attitudes and norms in indigenous Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo. Now, the program is getting close to standing on its own two feet!

These past few months, parents from across 15 schools have been bringing into their homes the attitudes and behaviors their daughters have started to adopt at school. For the first time, moms and dads expect their daughters to stay in school, and they see the value of their daughters´ education. They are even encouraging their daughters to speak up in class and be active participants in their community. Just think what this community will look like in a few years as a result! 

At the same time, week in and week out the teachers continue to replicate the program activities with their students, teaching them new life skills and implementing new methodologies for gender-equality in the classroom. And our field staff are there with them each step of the way, giving feedback and support as the teachers develop ownership over this new approach. In the photo you can see how some girls get excited from the start and others take longer to engage, which is why teachers need skills to reach both groups simultaneously.

You are the reason that girls in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo are now aspiring to be doctors, accountants and designers. And you are the reason why they have persevered and stayed in school, moving from primary school to secondary school, to make these dreams a reality. 

With gratitude, 

Yo quiero Yo puedo  

Lucy!
Lucy!

Dear GlobalGivers,

How do girls learn about autonomy when the national school system focuses on memorization and repetition? Through reading and talking about stories, and not just any stories, but the stories of Lucy and Pepe. These characters have become beloved household names in the communities where Yo quiero Yo puedo works. And they are a key part of Yo quiero Yo puedo´s experiential learning approach.

When we write to you about such life skills as assertive communication, self-awareness and critical thinking that are critical for human and community development, these concepts may sound abstract. But join the girls in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo to listen to stories about the day to day experiences of Pepe and Lucy and how they navigate their days, and it all becomes tangible.

One teacher told us: “it's the most innovative thing I've heard and I would like more stories and... more activities like it. For example, I worked with my students on the issue of autonomy and the stories are so clear… and explicit".

Another teacher said: "The kids ask for them: “Hey, teacher, tomorrow could we again …", for them it is all about Pepe and Lucy. They say: “let's see Pepe and Lucy again!” And the support we teachers get from Yo quiero Yo puedo is fantastic… the facilitator came after I took the workshop and he observed me in the classroom and his feedback was ´you express yourself clearly to the children, it gives them the power to participate.´ ”

We continue to bring new content to the teachers, and thank you for your continued support of this program that is transforming communities.

Our deepest thanks,
Yo quiero Yo puedo

Ps- Don´t speak Spanish and wondering how to pronounce our name? It is said like Yo kiero yo poo-edo.

And her friend Pepe
And her friend Pepe
Melanie in Acaxochitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico
Melanie in Acaxochitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico

Dear GlobalGivers,

With year three of the project well underway, we wanted to bring you a special treat: a video of Melanie, one of the primary school students in Acaxochitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTA0ohTa0d0

For those of you who don't speak Spanish, here is what she says, then just sit back and watch and let her sincerity wash over you:
My name is Melanie, If you are a bit reserved and challenging like I was, after the Yo quiero Yo puedo workshops you may be more friendly, you may be able to talk to more people.... it helped me to know myself, know what I am capable of. Thank you!

We continue working and expanding the program with other girls like Melanie each donation we receive.

Thank you!
The Yo quiero Yo puedo team

Ps- We are grateful to Melanie for sharing her story and letting us share her name.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Yo Quiero Yo Puedo

Location: Mexico City, Mexico - Mexico
Website:
Project Leader:
Shoshana Grossman-Crist
Mexico City, Mexico
* This project is competing for bonus prizes
through the Year End Campaign 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

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