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Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults

by Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 85 Children & Adults
Ana checks the condition of a child's teeth.
Ana checks the condition of a child's teeth.

One thing that we at Atzin have learned over time: the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” story rarely happens. Emerging from the quagmire of poverty, violence and marginalization requires more than personal determination.

For children living out the day-to-day hardships of difficult circumstances, hard work alone will not overcome the many obstacles to achievement of an education and decent living.

We recognize that the building of self-reliance often means sustained effort by an individual combined with a reliance on others at critical points in time. This is a world of mutual interconnections, and our focus is the creation of opportunity – opportunities that will allow the unleashing of potential and the possibility of change.

       The smallest act in the most limited circumstances bears the seed of boundlessness, because one deed,  and sometimes one word, suffices to change every constellation (Hannah Arendt)

Since our last report in early August, the Atzin team has worked hard on these opportunities,

  • Five days of intensive participatory training about: development milestones for children under six years; better nutrition using the traffic light technique (green, yellow and red foods) and identification of higher nutrient foods; active listening; yoga for children and meditation; making oral rehydration solution at home for early treatment of dehydration, and cost-comparisons with purchased solutions.
  • Organizing and restarting the Tihueliske Early Stimulation program for children 2-6 years with registration of 41 children, organized in two groups, each for two afternoons per week. Orientation for two new educators. Incorporation of four small children with special needs.
  • Continuation of prenatal clinic and newborn home visits.
  • Condolence visits to bereaved families and continuation of registry of deaths with data analysis in process.
  • Attention, accompanimient and visits to children and adults with special needs – a very necessary albeit time-consuming service-oriented program.

When people of whatever age are supported at the right time and in the right way, enabling them to determine a new course for themselves, we have done our job.

With your generous support, we carry on with the unleashing of people's creative potential. 

Abrazos desde Mexico, Susan

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Promotors measure child growth
Promotors measure child growth

Dear Friends of Tlamacazapa and Atzin,

First, a tidbit of good news: our recent video, Returning to Strength - the Long Road from Conquest to Discovery Lessons about Development from Tlamacazapa, Mexico, was selected for 4 international film festivals: Cannes International Cinema Festival (Can you believe that? Amazing!); Toronto International Film Festival; and, Berlin International Art Film Festival.

And, to our great pleasure, Returning to Strength was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Toronto International Women Film Festival.

Produced during the covid19 pandemic on a shoestring budget, and allowing us to creatively tell our story (and in the process, serving to release pent-up emotions), Returning to Strength captures our approach to community development and social change - admitedly an uphill labour, one that is, in fact, faced by everyone, everywhere. Click here to view Returning to Strength Tlamacazapa Mexico

Over the past months, families have strained to deal with deeper debt due to continuing covid illness as well as decreased streets sales of baskets and plastic trinkets, resulting in lower income. Our special needs program is working overtime with more individuals registered. 

In mid-June 2021, the village reeled with acute grief as five young men were assassinated by “narcos,” drug dealers without conscience sending a brutal message of intimidation to innocent people in a battle for control of territory. We work to actively support the widows and eight small children left fatherless - this is new ground for the Atzin team, requiring plenty of footwork, visits and phone calls, and more security measures. 

In times of covid, in moments of despair and fearfulness, we each can be a beacon of hope, extending ourselves to others in courageous kindness. We stand up and step out into the arena of life, doing our best against tough odds, pressing on with the creation of better times and a return to strength.

Sincerely, 

Susan

Here is that link again: https://vimeo.com/503278349

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Promoter Workshop Developmental Milestones Childre
Promoter Workshop Developmental Milestones Childre

As a team, we have continued a covid response since April 2020 and not let up. Click Returning to Strength - Lessons about Development from Tlamacazapa, Mexico on Vimeo to view our new video– sit back and watch the promoters at work.  

In brief, during the past three months (January-March 2021) we have:

  • Continued the Tihueliske Education classes for children 6-12 years of age, held outdoors with a total of 115 children who are organized in small groups, each child attending twice a week for three hours. One young promoter monitors handwashing, face masks, disinfection and safe distance. With these classes, the children have advanced in reading, writing and arithmetic and not lost a year. (Our literacy program for women and youth as well as early stimulation for young children remain on hold.) Two young women have recently joined as new educators.
  • Continued our Midwifery and Motlan Dental Programs which are both operating with high demand amidst different precautions.
  • Focused on the children and adults with special needs, updating our registrations to include new people, and now getting individuals to appointments for health consults. At present there are 40 children and 39 adults who receive active follow-up.
  • Maintained our registry of deaths in the village, especially important as the position of civil registrar for vital statistics has been vacant since December 2019. Promoters visit each household with a death in the family to offer condolences and food and obtain a short history. This has helped us keep roughly up-to-date on covid occurrence in the village.
  • Conducted two full days of promoter training (on topics of: security and development milestones of children under five years) with weekly follow-up learning circles.
  • Started a vegetable and herb garden in the yard of the Atzin Office – we decided to walk the talk of eating higher nutrient food, and are making progress as a team in Cuernavaca. Each plant is very much appreciated!
  • Completed many administrative matters that were put aside during the intense first year of covid – while perhaps less than exciting to report, these details are actually what keep the programs running.

Thank you with appreciation for all encouragement - we press on with the creation of opportunities for better times.

Susan Smith
Director, Atzin

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Carlos receives an early gift for King's Day
Carlos receives an early gift for King's Day

Dear Friends of Atzin and Tlamacazapa,                                                                  January 2021

During 2020, we have held each other’s hands; been helped by the wise counsel of others when challenging situations hit us hard; and felt encouraged by people’s generosity and concern for the poorest amongst us.

As a team, we planned a covid response in early April and worked the plan thoroughly till year end – that all was immensely satisfying with notable advances in promoter skills and the emergence of greater goodwill with more families. At the same time, we rebounded from one crisis to the next, contributing to a general sense of exhaustion as well as a growing worry about the increasing numbers of pregnant women and infants with health problems as well as new children with special needs.

While still surrounded by many who are ill but now with fewer deaths, we focus on re-gaining momentum in our health and education programs, and continued training of promoters, in particular, Ana and Marisol, the two young women who are working in the Atzin office and carrying more responsibility.

Since mid-September the educators have been giving classes outdoors in the open air to 120 children aged 6-12 years of age. Each child attends twice a week for three hours, in small groups of eight, eats a meal, and leaves with homework. One young promoter monitors handwashing, face masks, disinfection and safe distance. Without these classes, the children would lose a year of reading, writing and arithmetic. (Our literacy program for women and youth as well as early stimulation for young children remain on hold.)

Our Midwifery and Motlan Dental Programs are operating with high demand; people line up for their turn, and we can only admire their patient persistence.

Those with acute special needs receive medicines and vitamins, home visits and food packages each month. We re-started the organization of medical appointments with promoter accompaniment and transport costs, working around the current limitations in government medical services.

The bald truth: Covid has exposed the world’s glaring inequalities and toxic environments, driving us to do what is possible to re-member and re-construct healthy, healing lives. We press on with the creation of opportunities for better times.

Again, our grateful appreciation to all who donated, supported and cheered us on during these months.

Thank you and warmest best wishes for 2021.

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Home therapy by Lupe and Gaby
Home therapy by Lupe and Gaby

GIVING TUESDAY on December 1st is DONATION DAY. 

No access to internet and no television at home means no classes for children living in acute poverty in Tlamacazapa. Atzin educators are working hard with 120 children so that they keep learning the basics during covid. And they see the dentist - with all covid precautions - and eat a meal as well. Atzin's midwifery program is booming in attendance. 

Since May, promoters continued to visit one-on-one with the children and elderly at highest risk in their homes. This has been a difficult task on top of the covid campaign activities but they have persisted. 

A donation on December 1st will be MATCHED by GlobalGiving - your donation during this 24 hour campaign goes way further, helps more.

Your gift will make a remarkable difference to help us recover momentum in programming during covid. 

We can only do this with you - please give on Tuesday, December 1st. 

Sincerely, Susan

Ps. Educators and promoters are part of our frontline team during the pandemic - all are amazing young women doing their best every day. The dentist and midwife are amazing too. 

Pps. This link has the terms and conditions of GG Giving Tuesday campaign:

GlobalGiving - #GivingTuesday 2020 Terms & Conditions

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Organization Information

Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC

Location: Cuernavaca, Morelos - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @N/A
Project Leader:
Susan Smith
Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico
$59,291 raised of $75,000 goal
 
515 donations
$15,709 to go
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