Our city's population has doubled in 20 years. Most newcomers are indigenous Mayans fleeing poverty, religious persecution and political violence in rural areas. Most live in poverty on the city fringes in conditions of marginalization and discrimination. In 2012 we counted more than 3,300 children working in public spaces. In 2010, 24% of the population aged 3 -18 did not attend school. In a 2008 survey, 42% of indigenous women from the Chiapas highlands reported suffering violence in childhood
We will help families to enroll children in school and where necesary, to get birth certificates (essential for enrollment but hard to obtain). We will run "learning circles" that encourage children's interest in reading and writing, and provide scholarships for the poorest children. We will run workshops for parents on issues such as school enrollment, children's rights or prevention of violence. We will accompany children to ensure any cases of abuse are dealt with properly by the authorities.
250 children who would otherwise not attend school, or drop out early, will access formal education. Their families will also learn about school enrollment, indirectly benefitting up to 800 other children. The children will learn about the practical things that they and their families can do to ensure these rights are complied with. The project will also promote the values of autonomy, dignity and self-respect so that these children grow up learning how to defend their rights themselves.
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