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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,

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:

Dear GlobalGivers,

We are about to start the 3rd year of implementation in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo, continuing to reach 5th and 6th grade girls and their peers and teachers. As you well know, we build what are called life skills- things like critical thinking, decision making, handling and expressing emotions, creative thinking, self-knowledge, empathy, assertive communication. We do this hand in hand with building gender equity and preventing teen pregnancy and violence, which in Mexico too often girls to dropping out of secondary school. 

Teacher rotation is an ongoing challenge for the program, as the Mexican education system rotates teachers to new districts every year. While this means that trained teachers organically bring the program from Acaxochitlán to other parts of the country, it also means that to deepen our impact in Acaxochitlán, each year we have to re-run our 40-hour training workshop with the new teachers.  We also have a brief refresher workshop for those teachers who have stayed. The workshops use a participatory and experiential methodology, based in our well-known Framework for Facilitating Empowerment (FrEE). Once completed, these teachers will replicate the workshops with their students, integrating it into at least 2 hours a week in their classrooms. 

We move into year 3, inspired by the testimonies that we heard at the end of last year!

"The workshops are very human, they are completely focused on the development of the child and her specific nature. Additionally, it is comprehensive, complete and purposeful. When we use the Yo quiero Yo puedo approach, students´ whole panorama changes of what is coming in their near future ... they now have the tools. And it gives you as a teacher the tools to empower the students so they can develop and apply their skills.” 6th grade teacher.

"You know, in 4thgrade we did not have this workshop and all the time they pushed me around, they called me things, and I always kept quiet and did not tell the teacher. But this last year, in 5 grade, the teacher is giving us the workshop and I have learned many things. That is why every time they bully me, I can handle the situation and talk to someone". 5th grade girl

 

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Organization Information

Yo Quiero Yo Puedo

Location: Mexico City, Mexico - Mexico
Website:
Project Leader:
Shoshana Grossman-Crist
Mexico City, Mexico

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