Number of enrolled children (FY12): 27,043
Number of beneficiaries (FY12): 535,697
In the late 1940’s ChildFund came to Mexico to work with low income children, and became a fully established organisation in 1973. During the 1980’s, our community-based local partners were recognised as either Civil Associations or Private Assistance Institutions, all of them led by parents of enrolled children. For 40 years, ChildFund Mexico has supported children, families and communities in the most impoverished areas through a local and international sponsorship programme, and through strong alliances with the private sector.
ChildFund interventions reach children, families and communities through 39 local partners in the states of Chiapas, Hidalgo, México, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz and are based on the following eight programmatic areas:
Healthy and Secure Infants (ages 0-4)
The expansion of the Early Stimulation programme reached 2,490 children; the Nutrition programme benefited 3,154 children; and the Reading to Transform programme is reaching 255 children, helping them to improve their cognitive skills and to be better prepared to begin school.
Educated and Confident Children (ages 5-14)
The Nutrition programme instructed 7,702 children on healthy eating habits; the Prevention of Violence and Abuse programme educated the families of 5,695 children; and the Technology Literacy programme provided access to computers and training for 739 children living in deprived and vulnerable communities.
Skilled and Involved Youth (ages 15-24)
ChildFund Mexico increased the coverage of its Prevention of Violence and Abuse programme, reaching 1,608 youth; the Development of Mental Skills programme was implemented successfully with 803 young boys and girls and the Reproductive Health programme benefited 920 youth that now can make more informed decisions regarding their sexual rights. The Productive projects – designed to promote income generation and self-sustainability through self-employment and vocational training initiatives – benefited a total of 2,212 families in Mexico during FY12.
Mexico is a country that is characterised by its richness in natural resources. However, its development has been limited as a result of economic, political and social problems and environmental vulnerability.
In terms of economics, Mexico has gone through several crises. In 1994 the lack of international reserves resulted in the devaluation of the Mexican peso and an increase in unemployment. The international economic crisis since 2008 has also impacted rates of poverty due to reductions in real income and therefore access to food. Today 51.9 million people live in poverty and 11.7 million in extreme poverty.
In the political context, in spite of shifts in power, serious problems of corruption and access to justice still exist.
Insecurity is a critical issue for Guatemala’s population; over the past six years, there have been 140,000 deaths related to organised crime. Additionally, the health and education services, although they have increased in coverage, remain of very poor quality.
Furthermore, several areas of Mexico are vulnerable to catastrophic events, including hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding that increase the vulnerability of children and their communities and can affect the implementation of programmes, especially in some of the isolated communities where ChildFund works. All of these factors have had a negative impact on Mexican children and pose a risk to their overall development.
When Xochitl was little, she couldn’t stand up without stumbling. She suffered from severe strabismus, a visual problem whereby the eyes are not aligned properly and point in different directions. Through ChildFund Mexico, Sergio Torres decided to sponsor Xochitl. When he was about to celebrate his 50th birthday, he had a brilliant idea and planned a huge party, but instead of asking for presents he asked for money for his sponsored child, Xochitl. She needed eye surgery and her family couldn’t afford the procedure. The sponsor made the arrangements, and thanks to the surgery and the kind heart of so many people like Mr. Torres and his friends, Xochitl’s life changed completely.
Now Xochitl goes to school normally and plays with other children without fear of falling down. She is very active and participates in several programmes ChildFund Mexico carries out in her community through its local partners, especially in reading and educational support activities.
Fifteen years ago, Noemi was enrolled in ChildFund’s ‘Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca’ programme located in Oaxaca, Mexico. At that time, Noemi was 6 years old and she had the good fortune from that moment to be sponsored by Daniel Tearpock, a sponsor from Texas, USA, who is still supporting her.
After all these years of sponsorship, Noemi says, “I think that the relationship I have had with my sponsor Dan is very good. He hasn’t stopped writing letters to me since I was 6 years old. He has supported me and my family in many aspects.”
This has allowed Noemi and her sponsor Dan to develop a strong bond. Through the correspondence they talk about everything: family, health, hobbies, school, job, their countries, their culture and the most important thing, their dreams.
Mr. Tearpock has always encouraged Noemi through the letters he sent her, to study hard, telling her how important it is to have good professional training in order to reach higher goals in life. He was aware that in July 2010, she would finish high school and that she wanted to obtain a degree in teaching foreign languages.
Noemi wanted to pursue a degree in foreign languages because during the time she has been exchanging letters with her sponsor, he told her about interesting things concerning his business trips. Noemi wanted to know more about other cultures, to speak other languages, to teach them to others, and especially to be able to communicate with her sponsor in his own language.
Unfortunately, during that year, Oaxaca was involved in a public teacher’s strike and Noemi was not able to join the public university. Her sponsor put all his efforts into arranging and investigating with ChildFund other college options for Noemi to study and follow her dream.
Thanks to the support of her sponsor, Noemi was able to join a private university and pursue the degree she wanted. “Please don’t worry. I was saving some money for you to study. But it will not be easy; remember that important things require an extra effort,” wrote Mr. Tearpock in a letter to Noemi that she proudly shows and remembers.
Noemi is now 21 years old and enrolled in the fifth semester of her university degree. Noemi knows that dreams can come true. She is writing letters to her sponsor in English and her family is very proud of her because thanks to her sponsor’s encouragement, she was able to reach one of her most important goals and completely transform her life.
Under-five Mortality Rate (2010): 17 deaths per 1,000 live births (ranked 113 of 194).
Source: UNICEF SOWC Report, 2012.
Human Development Index (HDI) (2012): 0.775 (ranked 61 of 187). Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 2013.