Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots

January 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

Jodi Bauman first visited Oaxaca (Pronunciation: \wä-ˈhä-kä\), Mexico on vacation. She was charmed by the city’s intricate architecture and the dramatic landscape, but disturbed to see young children, clearly living in poverty, selling trinkets and candy in the streets day and night. Jodi feared that these children would never be able to break out of poverty’s vicious cycle without an education. Wanting to do something, Jodi started by sponsoring individual children, helping them enroll in school and paying for school supplies and uniforms. She persuaded others to do the same, and in 1996, the Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots child sponsorship program was created.

Jodie moved to Oaxaca and chartered a sister organization, El Centro de Esperanza Infantil (the Center of Hope for Children). In addition to their child sponsorship program, the Center also has a children’s soup kitchen and a volunteer nurse. Now Trivani Foundation has the opportunity to support Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots’ child sponsorship program.

Have you ever wondered what kind of an impact you can have on the life of a child? Here are a few of the letters written by some of the children enrolled in the sponsorship program.

Itzel Cruz, age 7

My life before was different because, we didn’t have any help and we were renting a little house. After I came to the center, my parents were able to save, and they bought a little land, and now we don’t have to pay rent. Before, I didn’t have the chance to eat good food or to get help with my homework. My life now is so much better. Centro de Esperanza helped us so much and now we talk to each other with respect, and the Center really helps things to be in order. Thanks to my sponsor with this help I can be someone in life and grow and have a better future.

Natanael, age 8

Before coming to the Center, well, I was really poor. I worked with my mom all the time. At home we ate only tortillas if my mom had enough, and if not, we just ate beans. I wanted to eat sweets, but my mom never had enough for that. She also didn’t have enough for clothes. All my clothes were always ripped and old, and there certainly wasn’t enough for school supplies. Now my life has changed a lot. I’m so much happier because I have help with school materials, shoes, uniforms, and tuition fees. The Center has helped me so much, like, everything has changed – my mom has more money to eat better than before. She doesn’t have to worry about the sign up fees at school, she doesn’t have to worry about my shoes, uniforms, or school supplies, and I can continue working and have a better life.

Brenda Fernanda, age 9

Before, my life was really hard because my mom didn’t take good care of me because she had to work a lot in order for me to sign up for school. I didn’t have the love and care that I needed from either of my parents, and so I developed a problem with my nerves. They said I had circulation problems and I also had seizures. Now that I am at the Center, and I have the economic help I need, my mom can be with me more and she has a lot more patience with me. The Center has helped me with so many things with my studies. Thanks to my sponsor, I am able to get the support and care I need from my parents. This has all helped me and inspired me to keep going to school and to push forward. I’m so happy my mom doesn’t have to make a huge sacrifice anymore for me to go to school.

The work of El Centro de Esperanza Infantil isn’t just limited to children. It’s giving adults like Raymundo, Veronica and Gabriela chance for a higher education, and an opportunity to professionally give back to their community.

Raymundo Ruiz, age 23, is the eighth of 13 children. Raymundo was a promising and enthusiastic student; in secondary school he won second place in an academic competition in his hometown of Pochutla. But his parents didn’t have the money to give all of the opportunities he qualified for. With help from Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots, Raymundo studied nursing at the Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez, and recently finished his practicum at the hospital General Aurelio Valdivieso.

Veronica Lucia, age 30, fled her home when she was only 13 years-old to escape domestic violence. She eventually came to Oaxaca and found a job working in a local market for $10.00 a day, just enough for her to buy food. Happily, Veronica was able to finish high school last December. She got a job at El Centro de Esperanza Infantil and can now continue her studies at the university.

Gabriel, age 27 has been working since he was 12 to help his family with daily living expenses. He managed to finish elementary and middle school, but had to postpone high school for four years while he continued to work. Gabriel finally completed high school in 2006. He is currently studying architecture at the University Autonoma Benito Juarez de Oaxaca. The brothers that he took care of for so long are trying to support him now, but Gabriel still needs assistance. He is hoping to find a sponsor through the Center.

There are many children and adults, who are trying to better their situation and that of their families. They know that education is the key to a career that can lift them out of poverty. In the next few months, Megan will be traveling to Oaxaca to plan partnership programs for the coming year.  We at Trivani Foundation are proud to associate with this quality organization, and are looking forward to working more closely with Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots.


Entry filed under: Mexico. Tags: , , , .

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Trivani Field Notes is your connection to the people on the ground engaged in the humanitarian work supported by Trivani Foundation.
Each week, new updates and stories from the field will be posted to share the accomplishments, needs, and gratitude from those who can best report the difference Trivani Foundation is making in the fight against poverty.

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