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sports in mexico
The nation of Mexico is well-known for its tacos and tequila, but less known for its staggering poverty rates and rising obesity cases. The Mexican State of Jalisco has a poverty rate of 41%; nearly half of the population lives without basic nutrition and suffers from the violence and theft of local drug cartels. Children raised in the vicious cycle of generational poverty suffer the most. Sports can provide a refuge for these children growing up surrounded by violence and hardship. Organized sports in Mexico provide children with the safety to build confidence and essential life skills that can help end cyclical poverty.

Sports Address Health Concerns

According to Mexico’s national social development board in May 2020, half of all Mexican children ages five through 14 hadn’t engaged in physical exercise for at least a year. The lack of physical activities and available sports contributes to Mexico’s climbing obesity rate, which neared 30% as of early 2020.

Malnutrition is typically equated with being underweight, but overweight children in poverty are also victims of malnutrition. In both instances, the child’s brain remains underdeveloped and cannot reach its full potential. Without proper nutrients, it is increasingly difficult for children to retain information and benefit from education.

The Social Significance of Sports

An aspect of poverty often overlooked is the lack of opportunity that children have to build and practice social skills. Sports in Mexico provide a safe space for children to play, socialize and build friendships without the threat of theft and violence that lurk on the streets.

Often played casually without referees, sports in Mexico frequently result in a conversation or reflection post-game. These discussions often revolve around gender equality, teamwork, perseverance, diversity or cooperation. Such discussions exemplify how the universal language of sports can help people find common ground and grow together.

Organizations Creating Space for Sports

Organized sports in Mexico offer a haven for children trying to avoid violence. Exercise and engagement in a stimulating social environment provide further benefits for their future. Thanks to the efforts of Children International, there are five community centers in the capital of Jalisco. These community centers provide protected spaces where children can read, use computers, play sports and learn about healthy eating habits.

At the beginning of 2020, the UEFA Foundation for Children collaborated with the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense (FECHAC) to open and run 88 schools that offer an opportunity for children to get involved in sports. The organizations hope to increase that number of schools to more than 100 in the next two years.

The Sports for Sharing initiative, or Deportes para Compartir, aims to teach children healthy lifestyles while also introducing cultural diversity and social issues. The initiative has reached more than 63,000 young Mexicans across the country and aims to expand internationally. The program empowers girls who are playing sports for the first time and reduces street violence by providing sports outlets for young men.

The physical and social rewards that children gain from sports in Mexico cannot be overstated. In addition to health and social benefits, playing sports acts as an escape for children leading difficult lives in poverty. It allows children to feel normal, forget the harshness of their world and imagine a better life for themselves. Moving forward, it is essential that more organizations make increasing opportunities for children’s sports in Mexico a priority.

– Veronica Booth
Photo: Pixabay

Fighting Child Poverty in EcuadorChild poverty in Ecuador is on the rise in Ecuador, resulting in poorer standards of living and higher rates of child mortality. Efforts from organizations around the world are successfully fighting against this, promoting the health and education of Ecuador’s youth.

Ecuador’s Poverty Rate

Ecuador is a South American country located on the West Coast of the continent. Northwest of Peru and southwest of Colombia, Ecuador is home to 17.4 million people. Ecuador’s name is derived from its location on the Equator, and the nation is located in both hemispheres of the world.

Ecuador’s poverty rate has fluctuated over the past several years. In 2007, 36.7% of its people lived in poverty. Additionally, Ecuador’s poverty was reduced to 21.5%. However, poverty started rising again recently, and as of 2019, over 25% of Ecuador’s population was impoverished. This means that over a quarter of Ecuador’s 17.4 million people, or about 4.4 million people, live under the national poverty line.

Child poverty in Ecuador is a severe issue. Children in Ecuador are disproportionately impoverished in comparison to the general population. Over 40% of children in Ecuador live in poverty, which is well above the 25% poverty rate of the general population.

Malnutrition does the most damage in adolescence, creating health difficulties that can last for a lifetime. Poverty in adolescence also sets up children to have a lower standard of living, as they are denied crucial education opportunities that would allow them greater future success. Child poverty is also strongly correlated with poor academic performance and early school abandonment.

Children International: Fighting Child Poverty

Fighting child poverty in Ecuador is a focus of multiple organizations in the United States. These initiatives focus on targeting the malnutrition and dwindling health of Ecuador’s children.

Children International, a non-governmental organization (NGO), aims to transform the lives of Ecuador’s youth by addressing hunger, among other necessities. Through its “Nutrition Program,” tens of thousands of children in Ecuador that are malnourished or at-risk for malnourishment are supported. Not only are the children fed, but Children International also provides medical check-ups and holds nutritional training workshops.

The organization also targets impoverished children’s educational opportunities as they “typically don’t have the skills, resources or knowledge to succeed.” Through its Social and Financial Education program, children in Ecuador are learning the skills to secure successful careers, how to be more resourceful and even how to “believe in themselves.” Through this, Children International is breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

Looking Forward

Other organizations are leading the fight against poverty as well. United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children International (UBECI), another NGO, is a prime example. UBECI takes independent action to address the lacking educational, medical and emotional support resources available to Ecuador’s youth. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has also been a key proponent in addressing child poverty in Ecuador. USAID funding has increased access to medicinal treatments for mothers and children in Ecuador, as well as support child education through the creation of schools and higher education programs.

Assistance from various organizations around the world is paramount toward combatting child poverty in Ecuador. While these projects have substantially improved the health and welfare of Ecuadorian children, there is still much to be done to address the child poverty that accounts for one in four children in Ecuador.

– Asa Scott
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty In Honduras
Honduras, a country home to nine million people, is crippled by poverty, gang violence and a lack of education. Roughly 60% of the population of Honduras lives below the poverty line. The country is also known for having one of the highest crime and violence rates of all time. In terms of child poverty in Honduras, poverty impacts children in multiple ways, including health, safety and education. Nearly 75% of children use outdoor bathroom systems or open fields and 69% of 9-10 year-olds are infected with parasites because of this. Furthermore, 23% of Honduran children suffer from malnutrition and stunting. This article will explore the consequences of child poverty as well as efforts to address it.

Children and Gang Violence

Children face many dangers from exposure to gangs and gang violence in Honduras. Many children are too afraid to go to school because of the prevalence of gang members on the streets. A report from the Norweigan Refugee Council highlights the risks that Honduran children face, including pressure, sexual harassment and abuse.

Gang members have also successfully infiltrated Honduran schools and now promote the distribution of drugs to minors and attempt to recruit them. Families are also faced with pressure from gangs, often in the form of war taxes, which prohibits their ability to buy school supplies and uniforms.

Children and Education

The Honduran government provides free schooling until the sixth grade. However, when children in Honduras graduate from the sixth grade, many of them stop their education to support their families. After receiving a partial education, boys will often go to work in the fields while girls will stay at home to care for their families until marrying around the ages of 12-14 years old.

The lack of education in Honduras increases involvement in gangs, drugs and other dangerous behaviors in order to survive and to support their families. One organization working to alleviate this problem is the Honduras Good Works Secondary Education Scholarship Fund. This fund provides school supplies, transportation and school uniforms to children in Honduras.

Changing the Future for the Children

Children International, an NGO aimed at protecting and aiding children, works to address many of the issues facing Honduran children. Among their current projects is the distribution of annual parasite treatments and workshops about hygiene, the Sport Development and Youth Leadership Training program to alleviate pressures of gang violence and the Youth Health Corps that ensures equal rights for girls and boys. Children International has five centers on the ground in Honduras and focuses on combatting child poverty in Honduras.

Save The Children is another organization working to better the futures of children in Honduras. With the support of generous donations, this organization was able to aid 141,000 children in Honduras just last year, and more specifically have raised 36,000 children from poverty. Save The Children is currently working to promote food security for families in coffee-producing areas, addressing causes of migration and training government officials on the prevention of trafficking.

Moving Forward

Child poverty in Honduras continues to impact millions of children across the country. Fortunately, organizations like Children International and Save The Children are stepping in to help. Moving forward, it is essential that these efforts and others continue to prioritize alleviating child poverty and ensuring better livelihoods for children in Honduras.

Caroline Pierce
Photo: Flickr

Youth Hunger in the PhilippinesHunger in the Philippines is a rampant issue. Food insecurity affects 64.1% of total Filipino households. Further, an estimated 5.2 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger, hunger due to lack of food to eat, at least once in the past three months. One issue in particular is the increasing rate of youth hunger in the Philippines. Two in every 10 (19.1 %) Filipino children aged 0-59 months old are underweight. Additionally, three in every 10 (30.3%) of children the same age are stunted in growth. All of this is due to food insecurity. Due to these numbers, many organizations have stepped up to reduce youth hunger in the Philippines. Here are two organizations included in this fight against food insecurity in the Philippines.

Youth Hunger in the Philippines

One of the organizations making a tangible impact on youth hunger in the Philippines is Destiny Ministries International. One of its pastors, Ariel Tenorios, based in the City of Calamba, Laguna, has spearheaded a campaign to feed homeless youth on the streets. He also raises money to give aid packages to these malnourished children. His work has spread throughout the provinces to the General Santos City/Mindanao areas. Tenorios has helped children during the COVID-19 pandemic by provisioning meals to college-aged students and families struggling with food insecurity. To distribute these resources, his team goes from family to family in the poorer areas and gives out bags of food to those in need.

Another way in which Destiny Ministry International helps youth hunger in the Philippines is through social media. So far, the organization has been able to help hundreds of children and families struggling on the streets. One big issue during this time is mental health, with a lot of the youth on the streets struggling with anxiety and depression. Through its work, the organization has helped rehabilitate those in need. For example, it can help people work through suicidal thoughts by providing for their needs.

A Personal Touch

Norita Metcalf knows what is like to help out in these areas. Metcalf was born in the Philippines, living in the province of Cavite from birth to the age of 21. While she currently lives in the United States, she still works with various churches and organizations that focus on youth homelessness and food insecurity in the Philippines. Metcalf takes frequent trips back to the Philippines to help in both tangible and remote ways.

On her most recent trip to the Philippines, aiding Destiny Ministries International, she saw another level of poverty. She described cardboard houses, multiple stories high, that people made to give families some form of a roof above their heads, even if it is as thin as cardboard. This showed Metcalf a new level of poverty than what she personally experienced as a child in the Philippines. While there, she helped fundraise and pass out food to address this problem.

Destiny Ministries International

However, the work of Destiny Ministries International has helped make a tangible difference. Metcalf describes the ways in which people struggled not only with food insecurity but also mental health issues resulting from malnourishment and poverty. The provision of funds and food go a long way for these people. Many college-aged youths on the streets told Metcalf about the feeling of hopelessness associated with the lack of food. Even a small glimmer of hope resulted in the subsiding of suicidal thoughts and depression, thanks to the aid of Destiny Ministries International. Overall, its work has helped hundreds and reduced food insecurity for families struggling during the pandemic.

Children International

Another organization that has aided with youth hunger in the Philippines is Children International. This organization has sponsored over 43,000 kids and 14 community members for over 37 years. It helps tackle malnutrition through screening every child and identifying those who need intervention. Additionally, monitored supplemental feeding in community centers help these children regain their strength and correct their weight-height ratio. Children International also aids parents through nutrition classes that teach about healthy meals on limited budgets, so that children will not remain malnourished.

Through its community centers, such as the Kaligayahan Center (meaning “happiness” in Tagalog), the organization serves thousands of children in different areas. In this center alone, it provides medical and nutritional services to more than 5,100 children. The work that this organization does therefore helps to combat youth hunger in the Philippines. As a result, it helps stop the early deaths and malnutrition that Filipino youths often suffer through due to malnutrition.

Looking Forward

These two organizations demonstrate two different ways to fight impoverished conditions and youth hunger in the Philippines. The stark statistics on how many are affected show that stepping up to the challenge is a necessary step toward change. However, the fight is not done with just these two organizations. As demonstrated by Metcalf’s story, food insecurity is a serious issue that needs a coordinated response in the Philippines.

Kiana Powers
Photo: Flickr

Children in Ecuador
Although Ecuador’s poverty rate has been steadily decreasing over the past two decades, children still suffer from malnutrition, lack of education, lack of healthcare and other deprivations. Cyclical poverty not only reduces the opportunities to become successful later in life, but it also makes children vulnerable to other domestic and social abuses like physical punishment and bullying. Fortunately, these three organizations are helping to support children in Ecuador, who often face neglect.

3 Organizations Helping Children in Ecuador

  1. United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children International: United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children International (UBECI) is a non-profit organization based in the capital of Ecuador. The organization has been working to support children in the markets of southern Quito since 1999. They create opportunities for children to develop their emotional, physical and social needs through recreational and educational engagements. UBECI fights for reduced working hours for children in the markets and helps them in school from primary enrollment to university. During this educative period, UBECI teaches social skills to the children to better integrate within society and spreads health education that will lead to a safer lifestyle. They emphasize “children’s rights to an education, right to lead a healthy life, and the right to an identity.” Through working directly with children living on the streets, UBECI touches the lives of more than 350 students, every school year and more than 600 during the summer. Therefore, the amount of youth the organization reaches per calendar year totals 1,770.
  2. Consortium for Street Children: Consortium for Street Children is a global charity that unites organizations dedicated to helping “street children,” through an international alliance. The alliance raises the voices of neglected children to the United Nations and engages directly with children on the streets. They currently have two projects protecting children in Ecuador. The Keeping Street-Connected Children Safe project, in collaboration with Red Nose Day USA, funds “innovative direct-service delivery projects” to support children in Africa, Asia and South America (including Ecuador). Their 2020–2021 grant will be tailored specifically to the new needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project, Building with Bamboo, was an explorative initiative whose goal was to learn how to implement a “resilience-based approach” to support street children, victims of sexual abuse and exploitation in Ecuador, Uganda and Nepal. The experience was shared within the Consortium for Street Children community to further the success of future projects.
  3. Children International: Children International is a charity that works to raise children out of poverty in 10 countries around the world. They have individualized four distinct problems regarding children in Ecuador. One, fight malnutrition; the organization started a Family Vegetable Gardens program to teach children and families about healthy diets. Also, this initiative helps to provide a steady income for their work within the garden. Two, tackle generational poverty; the organization teaches participants valuable skills to prepare for a more successful future. For instance, how to save money and be a responsible citizen. Three, lower the unemployment rate; the organization provides job training and hiring opportunities for teenagers. Four, make education more accessible; the charity community organized a tutoring system in which older students help younger children in Ecuador with math and language skills. Children International can do this through donations from the public and connecting needy children with willing sponsors abroad.

Efforts Must Continue

More than 40% of children in Ecuador live in poverty. Organizations like United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children International, Consortium for Street Children and Children International, however — ensure that future generations will have the tools to improve such statistics. Through breaking free from the cycle of poverty, children in Ecuador can capture a better life for themselves and future generations.

– Margherita Bassi
Photo: Flickr

Music and Poverty
Globally, each culture has a connection to music. Numerous Latin American cultures developed music such as salsa and tango,  energizing types of music with trumpets and bongos. Meanwhile, the Middle East produces songs written in Arabic. This style ranges anywhere from traditional Arabic music filled with violins and percussion instruments to Arabic pop including catchy lyrics set to engaging instrumental tunes. Although different cultures produce different types of music, people often view music as a link between cultures and nations. People often do not put music and poverty together, but the study of music is often beneficial and may allow some the chance to escape the poverty line.

The Link Between Music and Poverty

A study at Northwestern University has proven that music lessons can help alleviate the psychological damages that poverty brings. This study observed how learning to read sheet music affected teenager’s brains, aged 14 and 15. By teaching the children how to read musical scales, Kraus, the leader of the study, believes that the world can decrease the bridge between literacy and low socioeconomic status.

Ways Music Can Lift People Out of Poverty

Studying and playing music has proven to affect more than just literacy skills. Studies have observed that individuals who learn how to play music experience increased self-esteem, they believe that they can achieve things that they never thought possible. Also, by learning and studying new skills, individuals develop a new sense of discipline that they might have been lacking, which, in turn, encourages individuals to try new things, like attending college or developing a career.

Organizations Putting Music to Good Use

  1. Global HeartStrings: Started by Rachel Barton Pine, Global HeartStrings’ goal is to help foster classical musicians in developing countries. To achieve this, Pine provides children in impoverished countries with sheet music, basic supplies and even instruments.

  2. Children International: Based out of Kansas City, Missouri, this organization has developed a program called Music for Development in the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Started in the Dominican Republic in 2014 and Colombia in 2015, the program aims to teach children and teenagers life skills through music. By teaching children music, the organization says that they are giving individuals a road out of poverty, self-confidence and the ability to reject negative influences.

  3. System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela: Started in 2002, this organization focuses on individuals aged 3 through 29, and teaches them how to play and perform with musical instruments. Ran by Nehyda Alas, the organization has benefited around 350,000 individuals who live below the country’s poverty line. In Venezuela, around 70 percent of the country’s 30 million citizens live in extreme poverty. Alas, the organization promotes a healthier and more fulfilled life by providing children with new skills and the discipline to learn them. The United Nations Development Programme supports this program and the program aims to end the country’s extreme poverty and hunger crisis.

  4. El Sistema: Founded in Venezuela in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu, people have credited this music-education program with helping individuals rise above the poverty line. It is a cultural, educational and social program that helps empower children and teenagers through music. The organization has opened music learning centers in areas that are easily accessible to children living in poverty. At these centers, children work on learning how to play instruments or learning and performing choral music. Abreu believes that by teaching children music, they not only learn how to read and play music, but they also develop positive self-esteem, mutual respect and cooperating skills. They can then apply these skills to their daily lives. He is a believer in the link between music and poverty and strives to help his students achieve their best.

Musicians Who Came from Poverty

  1. Pedrito Martinez, Edgar Pantoja-Aleman, Jhair Sala and Sebastian Natal — Cuban Jazz Group: People know this Cuban jazz group for its unique blending of Yoruba folkloric music, contemporary beats, piano, bongos and traditional Cuban music. Cuba is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, and Martinez and Pantoja-Aleman are the only two members of the four-member band that grew up in impoverished areas of the country. Sala is from Peru and grew up in New York City, while Natal is from Uruguay. All four members of the group grew up struggling to make ends meet and they credit music as being both their escape and their success.

  2. Eddie Adams — American Cellist: Adams and his family, his mother and five siblings, lived in a Virginia homeless shelter when he signed up for band class in 10th grade. Although cello was not his first choice of an instrument, Adams grew to enjoy playing and would watch YouTube videos at school to improve his skills. He did not own his own cello, nor could he afford to take formal music lessons. However, after his audition, Adams received a full-tuition scholarship to George Mason University in Virginia where he became the lead cellist.

  3. Rachel Barton Pine — American Violinist: Growing up, Pine lived in a single-income household and, in her own words, her family was always “one missed payment from losing the roof over our heads.” Pine’s family could not afford a house with central heating or cooling. As a result, in order to stay warm in the winter, they used a space heater that they rotated every 10 minutes to keep their house warm. Pine worked her way above the poverty line by playing various shows as often as she could. She started playing as young as 5 years old, and as of today, she travels around the world performing her music and people have regarded her as “one of the most accomplished violinists in the world.”

Music and poverty intertwine more than many have originally thought. Music can greatly benefit individuals living below the poverty line as it provides a sense of culture, a form of education and a means of creative expression. Impoverished individuals who study music greatly benefit from increased literacy skills, along with increased self-esteem and a willingness to learn and develop new skills.

Destinee Smethers
Photo: Flickr

Organizations Fighting for Children's Health
There is a clear link between poverty and health. Often, unreasonable health care costs can send people spiraling into poverty. On the other hand, those already living in impoverished conditions are less likely to have access to sufficient medical treatment, increasing the probability of disease. Children, being particularly vulnerable to disease, illness and malnutrition, require sufficient medical and nutritional resources. Annually, nearly six million children die before their fifth birthday due to malnutrition and an additional two million children die from preventable diseases because of an inability to afford treatment. These organizations fighting for children’s health are working to combat those eight million preventable child deaths.

Organizations Fighting for Children’s Health

Children International

Children International has fought for children’s health since 1936 and is working towards meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number three for 2030. Children International focuses on impoverished children with the belief that breaking the cycle of poverty at an early age will “impact generations to come” and end global poverty. By working with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) to measure the results of its programs, Children’s International is finding that its work is making health services both more affordable and available as well as improving children’s health knowledge and confidence in their health habits. Children’s Health has made progress by:

  • Sharing important health information to children and families.
  • Creating supportive learning environments to practice new health habits.
  • Managing health clinics in areas lacking sufficient medical facilities.
  • Working to reduce costs with established medical facilities in impoverished areas.

Save the Children

Focusing on well-researched, evidence-based solutions for children’s health, Save the Children aims to make big, lasting changes to global poverty by working for better funding at the national, regional and global levels for children’s health and well-being. Its Every Last Child campaign seeks to provide all 15 million of the excluded impoverished children with health care and quality education by 2030. By recognizing the link between mothers’ and children’s health, Save the Children has identified that maternal actions such as breastfeeding for the first six months, appropriate birth care and sufficient newborn care avert anywhere from 13 percent to 40 percent of preventable deaths. Save the Children has accomplished these in regard to children’s health:

  • Treated 2.4 million malaria cases.
  • Administered care for 1.6 million pneumonia cases.
  • Cared for 1.9 million diarrhea cases.
  • Provided sufficient nutrition for 547,000 acute malnutrition cases.
  • Directly provided medical attention to 282,000 kids suffering in emergency situations.

These organizations fighting for children’s health are focusing efforts on the ground to give direct support to the impoverished. Better distribution of wealth and resources to ultimately create power structures focused on a system of true equality will have the most lasting results. About 2.4 billion people (a third of the population) still lack access to a medical facility. Without this crucial access to quality health treatments, it becomes increasingly difficult to eliminate global poverty. Proper health care is foundational to lifting children and their families out of poverty.

– Amy Dickens
Photo: Flickr

Help People in MexicoIn 2014, the Mexican government reported that poverty within the country rose to 46.2 percent —  nearly half the population living below the poverty line. For the country with a population of just over 123 million, the startling percentage is equivalent to over 55 million people living in poverty. These people are defined as living on less than 2,542 pesos or $157.70 per month.

Despite nearly 80 percent of the population living in urban areas, mainly in or around the capital Mexico City, four percent of the population has unimproved drinking water and 15 percent has unimproved sanitation facilities.

Here are four nonprofits advocating, fundraising and working on the ground to help people in Mexico.

1. Children International

Working in ten countries around the world including Mexico, Children International is a nonprofit focused on helping kids living in poverty. With over 70 community centers and over 9,000 volunteers worldwide, Children International provides children living in poverty with assistance in health, education and employment through empowering programs and resources.

The long-term impacts aim to help break the cycle of poverty. Their website offers a number of ways to get involved including sponsoring a child by donating $32 a month, making a single donation or volunteering at one of their community centers.

2. Feed the Hungry

Relying on almost entirely private donations, Feed the Hungry delivers meals and nutrition education to children throughout San Miguel, Mexico. Through school meals, family education programs and community events, the nonprofit aims to alleviate poverty in the poorest communities. Feed the Hungry operates kitchens partnered with schools in 33 communities.

Most recently in 2017, they opened new kitchens in Moral de Puerto de Nieto, Los González, Puerto de Sosa and Nuevo Pantoja, feeding more than 400 additional children every day. You can help people in Mexico with Feed the Children by sponsoring a school kitchen, advocating throughout your community or volunteering on the ground.

3. PEACE

PEACE (Protection and Education: Animals, Culture, and Environment) is a nonprofit working in the Bay of Banderas, Mexico, to increase educational and economic opportunities in developing areas. To support improved quality of life, the nonprofit runs programs consisting of topics ranging from community education to Mexican culture preservation to environmental protection.

You can get involved by donating to the organization or volunteering for the company remotely or on the ground.

4. PVAngels

Focused on uplifting the communities in Puerto Vallarta, PVAngels combines activity-driven events with fundraising to create community awareness. The money raised goes to charities focusing on a variety of issues including environmental issues, health care, education, family assistance and recreation services.

You can help people in Mexico by donating to any one of PVAngels’ charities or volunteering as a “partner for change” assisting directly the communities in Puerto Vallarta.

By utilizing nonprofits as well as individual volunteers to help people in Mexico, Mexico’s future will hopefully be a flourishing one.

Riley Bunch

Photo: Flickr

Helping People in Mexico
When people think about the country of Mexico, people reflect on some of its cultural features. These include the country’s food, music and clothing style. What people do not know about Mexico is that between the years of 2012 and 2014, the number of individuals living in conditions of poverty has increased by two million.

With this fact in mind, many people ask how to help people in Mexico. Due to the Mexican government spending many of its resources fighting the growing problem of cartels within its borders in conjunction with helping grow its economy, private solutions to poverty in Mexico appear to be much more adequate solutions to this issue.

This article highlights some NGOs that address the problem of how to help people in Mexico. Below are two NGOs that are currently doing this.

Children International

Drug violence and drug trafficking has transformed the cities of Mexico — essentially into war zones — and has taken hold of every section of the country’s state and national politics. The people most affected by the influence of the cartels in Mexico are the nation’s child populations. The NGO, Children International, is helping people in Mexico by focusing on the child populations living in the country’s cities.

Children International is helping people in Mexico by creating community centers that act as safe havens for the kids residing in this region. These centers contain books and computers for educational purposes, and toys to keep them entertained. On top of this, these centers also serve as a hub for child program activities that teach kids they can have a better life, and how to achieve that life.

One way to begin helping people in Mexico is to either donate to this NGO or to do volunteer work with their organization. Although volunteering is the most effective way of helping these people, any donation made makes a great difference.

Freedom From Hunger

Freedom From Hunger is an NGO that is helping people in Mexico by creating programs that aim to reduce the country’s food insecurity issue. Food insecurity gets defined as the inability to meet one’s basic nutritional needs for some or all of the year. On top of having 53% of the country living in poverty, and having 24% of the population living in extreme poverty, many people outside of these two groups struggle with food insecurity.

Freedom From Hunger is partnering up with local organizations in Mexico’s major cities and food banks. This partnership is being done to reach out to the needy in the country and give them access to a better food supply.

On top of this, Freedom From Hunger is helping people in Mexico by creating savings and loan programs for the people living under conditions of poverty. Although the incomes of these groups may be low, the issue of poverty only gets exacerbated when families fall further into debt or make poor financial decisions with what little money they do have.

Between helping the poor in Mexico deal with food insecurity and their economic issues, Freedom From Hunger is making great strides in fighting poverty in Mexico. In their first year, they reached out to 14,000 people in villages and cities where these services are needed. To support this group, and to begin helping the people in Mexico, volunteering one’s time or donating is a great way to start.

Private institutions are not always as efficient at making the substantive change needed to begin eliminating poverty, and at the current moment, the Mexican government is unable to make real change for its people dealing with poverty. With time and commitment, these organizations offer solutions for how to help people in Mexico and can continue to make the change needed in the country.

Nick Beauchamp

Photo: Flickr

Cormack FamilyDave Cormack, president and chief executive officer of the healthcare software provider Brightree, along with his family, are funding a new Children International Cormack Family Community Center. The Cormack family is helping to benefit nearly 12,000 children in Cartagena, Colombia.

In Colombia, 11% of the country is unemployed and 37% of the country lives below the poverty line.

Children International has been working with Colombia for over 25 years to help children break the cycle of poverty. It has 10 community centers in Colombia serving more than 40,000 children.

“After having the opportunity to visit other Children International community centers, my family and I recognized the importance of these safe spaces,” said Dave Cormack. “We knew we wanted to help fund a center so that more kids have the opportunity to utilize Children International’s services.”

The new community center will include the Brightree Youth Computer Center, where children can do research, homework and learn valuable skills such as English as a second language. It will also have medical and dental clinics, a library, pharmacy and other meeting spaces.

The new youth center will have an outdoor multi-sport court, an art studio and other multi-use spaces. The centers give families a place to escape the negative influences of their poor communities.

Children in the program have access to a team of doctors, dentists, tutors and sponsors. The Children International Cormack Family Community Center is a safe place in the community and a path out of poverty.

The organization provides health benefits, including annual medical exams and health care during illness, providing nutritional support, counseling for children and families, dental care, clothing, school supplies and fees and items for the home.

The programs are focused on health, education, empowerment and employment. Through early intervention, Children International addresses children’s critical needs through daily interaction in community centers. The centers are unique facilities that enable Children International to reach its goal of eliminating poverty from children’s lives.

Jacqueline Venuti

Photo: Children International