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Educate and Empower Girls in Mexico

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

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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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Girls and boys learning to play together
Girls and boys learning to play together

Dear supporters,

The second year of our program is over and we have some amazing results to share with you. As you all know, we are working with indigenous girls in Hidalgo to reduce the risk factors that prevent them from staying in school, such as teenage pregnancies, violence and lack of gender equality. In the two years, we have been able to reach 17 communities, 1,373 boys and girls, 55 teachers and 708 parents. We are extremely proud to report that the program has been very well received in those communities and, because they’ve asked us to continue working with them and others in the area, we are already preparing the third year of programming!

We’ve seen some incredible changes in the participants, such as increased confidence and the motivation to continue studying. Students have also increased life skills such as communication, teamwork and empathy and they have repeatedly expressed that Yo quiero Yo puedo has helped them to value and respect themselves. They are now more eager to participate in class, play with their peers and help at home. We’ve especially seen these changes in the girls who participated for two years in the program, compared to those who participated only one year. Below you can see some of the most outstanding results, which compare girls’ assessments at the end of each year:

Attitudes towards gender equality: girls who participated during one year scored 72/100 vs. girls who participated during two years scored 83/100

Knowledge about violence prevention: girls who participated during one year scored 34/100 vs. girls who participated during two years scored 64/100

Knowledge about pregnancy and STD prevention: girls who participated during one year scored 31/100 vs. girls who participated during two years scored 69/100 

And what the students have shared with us goes even further: both boys and girls talked to us about wanting to continue studying to become professionals. Denisse, one of the participants, expressed: “This program taught me that boys and girls can learn and play together and that if I want to play with cars, that doesn’t make me less of a girl. When I finish school, I want to study something related to math or science.”

Parents are also changing as a result. Lino, told us that “I would love for my daughter to continue studying. She will be the one to decide what, but I am going to support her no matter what she decides, because women are worth the same as men and it is important that we teach them that.”

Based on these results, we are confident that the impact of a third year will be even greater and the dropout rate in the region can be brought even lower. The entire community is transforming as a result of the Yo quiero Yo puedo program.

Thank you so much for helping us make this possible! Feel free to share this with your friends so more of us can help empower indigenous girls!

Girls learning about sexual reproduction
Girls learning about sexual reproduction
Yo quiero Yo puedo workshop
Yo quiero Yo puedo workshop
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Dear GlobalGivers,

Just before the holidays, we told you we would be working with the 5th and 6th grade teachers in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo to adapt the Yo quiero Yo puedo (I want to, I can) program into teachers’ classroom activities, and we´ve got some great news from the field to share with you!

Across the 17 schools, we heard from the teachers as they brought the program to their students:

I realize that I myself, as a teacher, can be an agent of change and help my students. - Luis, 39 year old teacher

I feel very comfortable in the group and I realized that I can be a support for my students; as I reduce my barriers to change, I can help my students reduce theirs. - Carlos, 29 year old teacher.

Because we believe that change occurs holistically, we are committed to always including parents, of both boys and girls, in our programs. These last couple months, parents across the 17 schools also rolled up their sleeves and immersed themselves in learning about violence prevention and sexuality and built their own life skills (remember this is shop talk for skills like communicating on difficult topics, decision making and negotiation). One mom told us that “there are a lot of things I didn´t know, or that´s just how I was taught. A workshop like this is what we all need, it has helped me realize that If I am not well, I can´t help my daughter”.

Check out the photos below to see the teachers in action with their students! With each day, more girls are staying in school and their dreams are becoming reality.

- Yo quiero Yo puedo (Mexican Institute of Family and Population Research)

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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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