Children
 Mexico
Project #11133

Education for 250 working children in Chiapas

by Melel Xojobal A.C.
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:

Melels Director at the award ceremony
Melels Director at the award ceremony

Dear friends

It is an honor to be able to inform you that for three consecutive years, Melel has been officially recognized for the work it does in support of the children of Chiapas. Last Monday we received in London the inaugural With and For Girls award, given by the Stars Foundation, for the work we do in support of girls and adolescents.

We want to take this opportunity to extend this award to all the GlobalGiving Donors who support our work and invest in the lives of children in Chiapas.

Here is the press release for the award:

PRESS RELEASE: Mexican girl-led charity wins international award for outstanding work

Local charity Melel Xojobal is one of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive an inaugural With and For Girls Award.

The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.

The charity – based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico – is recognised for its work with indigenous girls and young women on skills building, rights promotion and health education.

Melel Xojobal will receive the Award at a London ceremony on Monday 16 November 2015, where representatives from the winning organisations will attend along with people from a range of foundations, multilateral agencies, INGOs and prominent influencers within the sector.

The Chiapas region of Mexico is rich in natural resources, yet has some of the highest rates of poverty in the country.

There are low levels of indigenous children enrolled at school and high dropout rates due to poverty, unplanned pregnancies, early marriage, gender inequality and discrimination based on ethnic origin.

There is a lack of access to information to help girls to make informed decisions and few or dysfunctional support networks for victims to turn to if their rights are being violated.

Melel Xojobal works to boost the social and political involvement of indigenous girls, boys and young people from San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

Through its work to keep children in school, Melel Xojobal has helped teenage girls reach higher levels of education, enabling them to widen their employment options. Activities focus on developing girls’ social skills and allowing them to map out their life plan in a conscious and informed way.

All of Melel Xojobal’s programmes have been designed to promote girls’ participation and autonomy, to widen their support networks and to provide them with knowledge about their rights and enable them to develop the tools and skills to exercise and defend them.

Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation – “Despite the critical role that women and girls play in sustainable development, the World Bank estimates that less than two cents of every dollar spent on international aid is directed towards adolescent girls. The With and For Girls Award provides flexible funding to grassroots girl-focused NGOs, empowering them to invest their funds where they need them most. We want to shine a spotlight on these outstanding local organisations and encourage more funders to support girls in their role as vital agents of change within our sector."

As part of the award package, Melel Xojobal will receive US$50,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support. ENDS

Work with girls and adolescents
Work with girls and adolescents
Press conference lead by girls
Press conference lead by girls
3rd event of girls and adolescents
3rd event of girls and adolescents

Links:

Lupita and the old wise man
Lupita and the old wise man

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.

This campaign is part of the Entering and Remaining in School program focused on helping children enroll in school through support in obtaining birth certificates as well as the holding of weekly “learning circles”, where Melel’s educators work to support children in their studies, improving their understanding of what they are taught in school and helping to keep drop-out rates as low as possible. We were also able to award 31 scholarships to families in greatest need to help with the costs associated with schooling.

Santo Domingo Craft Market
Santo Domingo Craft Market
The play was popular in Merposur
The play was popular in Merposur
She talks about the importance of education
She talks about the importance of education

Links:

First of may, international labor day event
First of may, international labor day event
On february we launched the annual birth certificate campaign, placing posters around markets and public areas and and we also broadcast radio announcements in Spanish and Tzotzil on different radio stations that reach a big audience of the population we work with.
This past tuesday was the first birth certificate delivery on Melel´s office getting birth certificates for 36 children from 0 to 17 years old
Through educational activities called “learning circles” and other educational resources, we helped working children to gain places at school and raise their level of school attendance. Using different methodologies, children learned about their rights to identity and education. We also helped them to improve their reading, mathematical skills and technological abilities.
The activities took place in the spaces where children work (such as public markets) and in the organization’s offices.
33 children and adolescents were given a scholarship that helped them to continue their studies and will help generate virtuous circles of school enrollment and attendance within their families.  Also, we assisted in the transition to college of 6 young people. We provided the opportunity for these students to discuss their vocational options with a guidance counselor in order to direct their studies towards the best possible future in a career of their own choosing.
To all our GlobalGiving Donors, we are very pleased to share our Annual Report 2014, so you can see what you had help achieved with your donation.

http://www.globalgiving.org/pfil/11133/projdoc.pdf

We believe that there’s still a lot that needs to be done so that every child and adolescent in Chiapas can exercise their human rights. We also believe that they are stakeholders and agents of change who need to be listened to and involved in the social transformation that is needed to achieve a more dignified life for everyone

We want to dedicate this report to you!
Birth certificates delivery
Birth certificates delivery
Learning circles with working children
Learning circles with working children
Learning circles in Santo Domingos Craft Market
Learning circles in Santo Domingos Craft Market
Media education
Media education

The project continues to work toward its target of maximum enrolment of school age children and higher completion rates of primary and secondary level schooling. Through these strategies:

Consultation for birth certificates procedures

a) An annual campaign for the right to an official identity, running from January to May.

The goal is to educate families about the importance of birth registration as a means to fulfill the right to an identity for their children.

b) Briefings with families to explain the requirements of the procedure.

c) Collect and check documents and take them to the civil registration.  Melel provides this essential service since many indigenous parents do not speak Spanish

d) Delivery of birth certificates to Melel ´s office.

 Increasing awareness about the importance of formal education

a) Educational work with mothers and fathers:

We are having meetings with parents whose children do not attend school to talk about the importance of education for children.

b) Community Work:

We are implementing an awareness campaign about the right to education for children. We are designing and printing materials for the campaign in Spanish and Tzotzil Mayan to share in public spaces. We are also producing radio-spots in Spanish and Tzotzil to broadcast on local radios stations. 

 Educational work with children and adolescents 

a) Through educational activities called “learning circles”, educational resources are offered to children to help them develop social skills to strengthen school attendance. Using different methodologies, children learn about their rights to identity and education. We are also helping them to improve their reading and mathematical skills and technological literacy. 

Activities are conducted twice a week (morning and evening) in the spaces where children work.

b) Social circus workshop. The practice and performance of circus skills can help generate new non-violent practices of social relations centered on a culture of good treatment and gender-equality.

Scholarships

33 children and adolescents are benefit by the scholarships program

"Learning circles"
"Learning circles"
Educational activities at the craft market
Educational activities at the craft market
My birth certificate!
My birth certificate!
Educational activities at the South Market
Educational activities at the South Market

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
$20,998 raised of $25,000 goal
 
413 donations
$4,002 to go
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