Breaking the cycle of poverty is at the core of ICF’s mission. Across all of the geographical contexts where we work, factors such as food insecurity, shrinking education budgets, corruption, and lack of access to basic resources such as water, electricity or health care perpetuate this cycle and serve as insurmountable obstacles for the hardworking people trying to get ahead in life.
The good news is that many civil society organizations are collaborating to combat this multifaceted issue. While each organization focuses on a certain issue within their specific program or geographic areas of expertise, ICF takes a broader-view, connecting them to critical resources, offering expertise from solutions being proven across regions or even around the world, to address the systemic barriers to improving lives and livelihoods in Mexico. Below are just five of the organizations ICF supports that are doing tremendous work to help the people of Mexico.
1. Improve the Quality of Education
Enseña Por México (Teach for Mexico) has been developing strong leaders and improving educational attainment amongst young people in Mexico since its founding 2013. The program seeks to maximize the potential of youth regardless of their background or economic level. This involves mitigating the issue of student dropout rates — every day, 5,000 students in Mexico dropout of school for good. For children who stop going to school, it not only limits their academic growth, but also reduces opportunities to build successful and lucrative careers and go on to lead healthy and fulfilling adult lives. Ensuring that citizens have the opportunity for education can be a solution to poverty.
Enseña Por México aims to bring personal, educational, and social transformation to the young people in the country through a comprehensive leadership and education program. Within just 6 years of operation, Enseña Por México has helped more than 60,000 students and currently offers aid in 8 states. You can help Enseña Por México keep more impoverished kids in school and improve their opportunities by donating to ICF’s education fund here.
2. Provide a Home for Abandoned Children
With around 100,000 Mexican orphans living on the street, improved housing is desperately needed for parentless, abused, and other vulnerable children. Due to a lack of funds and accountability, many orphanages in Mexico cannot provide even basic care let alone the emotional and mental health services they critically need. The lack of housing may increase child poverty in Mexico.
Fortunately, Mexico has a strong system of nonprofit orphanages, known as hogares, who are making a real difference. Casa Hogar Cabo San Lucas and Casa Hogar Alegría are two such hogares providing a safe home for abandoned or vulnerable boys and girls in Mexico. Casa Hogar Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur housed more than 180 children in 2017 alone. In addition to basic needs, through leadership training, education, and emotional mentorship and care, these centers give kids a chance to learn essential life and job skills, under the supervision of close mentors, and in a safe space.
With the help of ICF and our generous donors, these organizations are changing lives by offering hundreds of kids the chance to grow up with love and security, when they may otherwise have been on the streets. You can help Mexican children achieve the lives they deserve by donating to Casa Hogar Cabo San Lucas or to Casa Hogar Alegría through ICF.
3. Improve Access to Healthy Food
Families that are food insecure don’t have routine access to adequate amounts of nutritious food. Food insecurity can sometimes result from a lack of food availability, but more often in Mexico, it is the result of poverty — fresh and nutritious food exists, but people can’t afford it or access it. This is the case among more than 10% of the Mexican population.
To combat this issue, the Southern Baja Food Security Alliance (SBFSA) aims to connect local stakeholders in areas like Los Cabos — where a staggering 52% of residents experience food insecurity. By offering gardening and nutrition programs, this multi-sector community group educates Mexican families on healthy eating and helps them access the fresh food they need. In 2017 alone, the SBFSA provided classes to 682 community members and ensured 69 garden plots could be harvested.
Help us improve food security on a regional level in Baja California Sur by donating to the SBFSA here.
4. Provide Medical Care to Children
Given that around half of all Mexican children are living in poverty, access to regular medical care is not possible for a significant percentage of the young population — unless local initiatives step in to help.
Amigos de Los Niños is a nonprofit that provides free healthcare services to children up to the age of 18 who are experiencing a deficiency in the quality of their care. The organization’s Free Clinic handles everything from cardiology to dentistry, and they provide special cases program for children with serious illnesses. You can help more impoverished children get the healthcare they need by donating to Amigos de Los Niños here.
5. Support Childcare for Families in Los Cabos
Most households in Mexico are either single-parent or require both parents to work full-time jobs in order to provide for their families’ needs. And without guaranteed free pre-school or daycare, childcare becomes a critical economic hurdle. As a result, many families decide to pull their oldest children from school in order to help care for younger siblings. And despite some progress in gender equality on a policy-level, the reality is that girls are more likely than boys to be pulled or drop out of school by 12 years old, and child marriage rates continue to rise in some parts of Mexico. Unfortunately, this creates a cycle of impoverished, under-educated parents and kids who don’t stay in school because they can’t afford to.
To address this problem, since 1999, Los Niños del Capitán has offered a nursery, a pre-school, elementary school support, and a parenting program to bolster educational opportunities for families near Cabo San Lucas, many whom work in the service and hospitality industries. They also provide on-site pediatric dental care to ensure that children get the care they need, regardless of their families’ financial situation. You can support high-quality childcare for families in Los Cabos by donating to Los Niños del Capitán here.
Looking for even more ways to help? Is there a cause that’s dear to your heart that you didn’t see on this list? Visit our donation page to see all the initiatives we support that help impoverished communities in Mexico and throughout Latin America, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discover how ICF’s program staff can help connect you and support the causes you care most about.