Children
 Mexico
Project #11133

Education for 250 working children in Chiapas

by Melel Xojobal A.C.
Vetted
Event
Event

Dear GlobalGiving Donors,

Another year is soon coming to an end and this is the summary of the activities and results we had accomplished in 2016:

Birth Certificate Campaign.

A Birth certificate is an indispensable document for people; it proves the existence of a person and is the key to access other rights such as the right to education or to healthcare.

We promote an annual campaign called “Right to Identity” whose objective is to help indigenous families to get the birth certificate for their children.

This campaign took place in the public places of the city, where children either work or accompany their parents to work. We also broadcast radio announcements in Spanish and Tzotzil on different radio stations that reach a big audience of the population we work with.

In 2016, we assisted in obtaining 81 birth certificates for children who would otherwise have remained unregistered. These valuable documents were delivered directly to the organization’s offices, thanks to an agreement with the Office of Civil Registration.

Right to Education

One of the pillars of the Organization’s work is the promotion of right to education since it makes a sustainable impact. Higher levels of education for young people enable better opportunities for social mobility when they become adults, breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality that affects such a large number indigenous people.

School placements and attendance

Through educational activities called “learning circles”, that take place in public markets, in the central square and in the organization’s offices, children and young people improve their life skills, such as critical thought, autonomy, the ability to ask questions and to create new ideas to understand, to value and to have a positive impact in their environment.

This year, we focused on the following strategies:

a) Encouraging reading and writing

We made an assessment to determine the level of literacy of children and we found a big gap between their current knowledge and their level of education. Children who attends 3rd, 4th and 5th grade can’t read they can only spell. We also found participants who don’t know how to read and write.

Weekly, we ran different activities to improve the reading and writing level of children and we also teach them how to read and write using different strategies such as word plays, storytelling, free writing and vocabulary.

b) Encouraging the study of mathematics

Children who we work with are behind the normal grade level for their age in elementary arithmetic, most of them barely can count to one hundred and perform simple addition and subtraction; so we focused on developing math skills such as addition, subtraction, division and multiplication through the use of ludo-educational resources that focus not only on learning but also on encouraging children to love it.

c) Basic English Language Learning

During the summer period, we organized an intensive English workshop, with the primary objective of providing young people with the necessary tools for English comprehension and to improve their academic performance. Also it serves to reflect on the importance of learning different languages for life and work.

Educational accompaniment

31 children and adolescents are beneficiaries of a scholarship to guarantee their school continuity. As part of this process we made home visits, monthly follow-up meetings and educational activities in the organization’s office to strengthen their academic abilities.

Raising awareness about the Right to Education with families

It is also necessary to work with families to promote the rights of their children and to extend the organization’s work to the family level in order to reach indirectly more boys, girls, and adolescents.

In 2016, we ran four workshops to promote the Right to Education.

We want to thank GlobalGiving and all the generous people who contribute to promote the rights of indigenous children in Chiapas!

Political and social participation
Political and social participation
Time to talk Campaign
Time to talk Campaign
Learning circles in Merposur
Learning circles in Merposur
Birth certificate campaign
Birth certificate campaign
Abigail representing Melel in Mexico city
Abigail representing Melel in Mexico city

Dear GlobalGiving donors,

We are excited to tell you about the achievements and next steps in our education program for indigenous girls and adolescents.

The project that you support is for both boys and girls, but in the past four years, we´ve been complementing our educational program with gender-specific activities in order to empower girls and reduce risks of dropout such as early marriage, pregnancy, gender discrimination, gender violence and sexual abuse. These, among other risk factors, are common in Chiapas, especially for indigenous girls.

These complementary projects have been developed together with the With and For Girls Collective and The National Women’s Institute of Mexico; and the main goal is to promote the full recognition and exercise of the rights of 120 girls and adolescents from marginalized areas of San Cristobal de Las Casas, to contribute in the construction of their citizenship.

Our strategy:

  1.  Educate girls and adolescents about their rights.
  2. Promote the consolidation of girls’ and adolescents’ networks.
  3. Develop actions to promote gender training with young men, in order to increase their participation in the construction of a more gender-equal society between men and women.
  4. Promoting girl’s and adolescent’s rights through a local media campaign.

Why does this matter to our project?

Because girls and adolescents in Chiapas have a higher risk of non-attendance or dropping out of school because the belief that their education is less important compared to their brothers still prevails. If a family has to choose who to send to school, 80% still opt to send male children.

Believe it or not, in Chiapas we still have a serious issue with “girl brides”. Cultural practices within communities still allow for the selling of girls to older men to get married. Our pregnancy rate for girl’s age 10 to 17 is 70 per 100 thousand. Apart from the obvious physical risks of maternity at such a young age, pregnancy in young girls and adolescents damages their life project and keeps them in the same cycle of poverty as their mothers.

So this is why a focused girls and adolescents strategy is needed to achieve our main goal of a better education and better life opportunities for everyone.

The impact that we are having is:

Girls and adolescents know their fundamental rights and the mechanisms to exercise them. The have access to information allowing them to have a wider vision for their life project and increase their capacity to decide about and influence it. Also, we help them to prioritize their goals in the short, medium and long term, seeking to prevent and reduce unwanted pregnancies and early marriages and increase enrolment rates so they can achieve a better social and economic future.

Also, they are already able to build individual and group strategies to defend their rights, strengthen their social network, work with women´s support groups and participate in the decision making.

As a GlobalGiving Donor YOU are part of this and we want to thank you for it!

Best wishes,

Media interview
Media interview
Media training
Media training
Press conference led by girls and adolescents
Press conference led by girls and adolescents
Life project workshop
Life project workshop
Learning circles in Melel
Learning circles in Melel

Dear GlobalGiving Donors

From February to May, this is what we´ve been doing in the working children program:

Annual Birth Certificate Campaign

From February to April, we ran our annual birth certificate campaign. The goal is to support the city’s indigenous families in obtaining birth certificates for their daughters and sons.

The campaign was conducted at markets and public spaces where children commonly work and we also broadcasted spots in Spanish and in Tzotzil Maya on local radio.

We held 2 information sessions with the families where we explained the procedures and the documents that they needed to gather. We helped obtained 64 birth certificates.

Strengthening School Attendance and Performance

We had weekly sessions in four different markets and in the organization, dedicated to reinforcing academic skills. This year topics are: a) improving reading and writing; b) basic mathematical skills; c) reading circles and; d) history.

We are also working with children and families to ensure that they are enrolled for the next school year and providing special workshops for the girls and boys who need to take the secondary school test.

At the moment 31 children and adolescents have a scholarship; we have monthly meetings with them and the families to monitor their progress at school and to provide guidance in case they need it.

So far, 222 working children have benefitted from the work that the organization does and we are only able to do it thanks to the invaluable support and generosity of all our donors around the world.

Kind regards 

Learning circles in Melel
Learning circles in Melel
Learning circles in the Cathedral
Learning circles in the Cathedral
Learning circles in Santo Domingo
Learning circles in Santo Domingo

Links:

Artesans working children
Artesans working children

Dear GlobalGiving donors,

It is with great pleasure, that we present to you the annual report for the funds we received this year. Your contribution makes a real difference for the children that we work with.

Last year we work with 528 working children. With the program we help to promote their rights such as education, identity and a life free of violence.

 

a)      Annual Birth Certificate campaign

 From January to May we held the annual birth certificate campaign, it was focus mostly in the markets and public areas where children work, but we also produced radio spots that were broadcast in local radio stations.

 We help to obtain 69 birth certificates.

 b)      Educational activities

 We did weekly educational activities in different places like markets, downtown and in the organization office. The activities were focus to help children to learn abilities such as reading comprehension, writing, mathematics, technology; abilities that are useful in school contributing to prevent drop-out. But also, we taught them about their rights and life skills such as work team, frustration tolerance, patience, self-esteem, etc.

 

c)       Annual Campaign: Right to Education

Melel Xojobal ran a campaign to promote the enrolment of working children in school. The campaign took place in three markets where there are children working without attending school. We performed a play and we also placed posters and gave out leaflets with information for parents.


The play´s title was: “The story of Lupita: the girl who sold flowers at Merposur”.  Lupita is an 8 year old child, who sells flowers at a market, she doesn’t have a birth certificate, so she can´t go to school. The play analyzes the different problems of education for children who have to work as well the importance of having a birth certificate. It also encourages parents to support their children to attend and to stay in school, providing a new perspective about the long term benefits that education will have on their children.

d) Scholarships

 We were able to award 31 scholarships to families in greatest need to help with the costs associated with schooling.

 

                                                     We want to thank all of you your priceless support

Learning activities in Santo Domingo
Learning activities in Santo Domingo
Learning activities at Melel Xojobal
Learning activities at Melel Xojobal
Learning activities at Melel Xojobal
Learning activities at Melel Xojobal
Learning activities at Santo Domingo
Learning activities at Santo Domingo
Primary school graduate she has a scholarship
Primary school graduate she has a scholarship
Learning activities in Santo Domingo
Learning activities in Santo Domingo

Global Giving

My name is Sandy and I received the scholarship, it has been very helpful, especially with my school supplies, with stationary supplies and with food etc.

In Melel Xojobal there have been activities such as jewelry-making where we make chaquira bracelets and collars. I learned how to use the pliers.

We also have activities every Monday at 4:00 pm, where we learn about our rights, about bullying and especially how to defend our rights.

I like Melel Xojobal because I learn more and also because it’s very fun. I thank the people who gave me the scholarship, it´s been very helpful. When I don´t have shoes to go to school I can buy them with the scholarship and also buy school supplies. Sometimes my school supplies are stolen so I can buy more.

Thank you for your attention

I am Sandy and I am 11

Life, work and dignity
Life, work and dignity
Trip to "Arcotete"
Trip to "Arcotete"
Learning activities in the Cathedral
Learning activities in the Cathedral
Original letter part 1
Original letter part 1
Original letter part 2
Original letter part 2

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Melel Xojobal A.C.

Location: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas - Mexico
Website: http:/​/​www.melelxojobal.org.mx
Project Leader:
Susana Donaire
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas Mexico
$23,607 raised of $25,000 goal
 
528 donations
$1,393 to go
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