Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots – A Closer Look

March 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

Trivani Foundation superstar, Megan McMillan visited the Centro de Esperanza in Oaxaca, Mexico.  She investigated the fabulous work the Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots (OSCG) organization is doing for families in the area.  OSCG impacts the families of 600 children and success stories abound!  Some of the program’s former students have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, teachers and engineers!  Below, Megan recounts her visit to the Centro de Esperanza and the homes of some of the children’s families.  Find out what it’s all about as Megan shares her story:


On the first day of my trip to Oaxaca, I visited the Centro de Esperanza Infantil with board member Dave Slaymaker as my host. This center provides children of all ages the opportunity to study computer skills, English, Math and Spanish.  There is also a full scale Kindergarten on site. In addition, parents of the children who are enrolled in the program can volunteer on-site by cooking in the kitchen, cleaning or offering childcare for parents who work.  All students as well as parents who contribute time as volunteers are provided with two meals per day. 


One of the board members, Daniel, was kind enough to take me and two other board members to visit the homes of OSCG clients. This was a startling experience as some of the homes we visited are among the most impoverished households I’ve seen. In the first home, we were greeted by three very young children who were home alone.

We were able to talk to four families whose children attend the Centro de Esperanza Infanitl.   All of the families represent different indigenous groups.  They left their small rural villages for the city due to political instability and turmoil, lack of jobs and opportunity, or to escape imposed cultural practices such as arranged marriages and/or the selling of daughters and wives.

Unfortunately, most of these families do not have the proper skills to survive in urban areas. All of the families attested that without the center their children would not be in school. In Mexico, public school is not free. Parents must pay annual school fees costing no less than $70 per child. The rate goes up as the children advance from one grade level to the next.  In addition to school fees, children need school uniforms, shoes, school materials and bus fare.  Remarkably, the center provides of all of this in addition to yearly health check-ups and dental visits.

 Oaxaca Street Children Grass Roots is an organization that runs a successful program. On the last day of my visit I was able to meet a young man who had been in the program since he was 15. He had just graduated from medical school thanks to his enrollment. Before being involved with the program, he was a street child and spent his days and nights on Oaxaca street corners selling crafts.  Thanks to the program, he is nearing his goal of becoming a doctor.  


Stay tuned for more updates on OSCG and future directions for improvments at the center through increased collaboration between the program staff, the local community and the Trivani Foundation.


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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