ChildFund Mexico’s First Local Partner Graduation

ceremony in Oaxaca, Mexico

Our graduation ceremony at Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca in Mexico.

By Valeria Suarez Suchowitzki, ChildFund Mexico

ChildFund works with hundreds of local partner organizations around the world, providing funding and other support while they run programs that help children and families in need. Sometimes a day comes when a local partner is self-sustaining and no longer needs ChildFund’s support, which allows us to move on and continue our work in communities that need more help.

Recently, that day came to Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca, our local partner in Oaxaca, Mexico. We’ve worked in this community for 25 years and have seen great progress during that time. When we first arrived, the community water supply was rationed and untreated, 70 percent of the families didn’t have electricity, and children suffered from intestinal infections and diarrhea.

native dancers in Oaxaca

Native dancers perform at the ceremony.

Now families have fresh tap water and a sewage system. Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca started a kindergarten, following teaching methods and knowledge built in partnership with ChildFund. Of the children that were enrolled in ChildFund-supported programs, 65 percent have finished a technical or college degree. Parents have improved their incomes, and children have a safe and inviting community space where they can participate in recreational and development activities that help to develop their skills, abilities and confidence.

This was the first local partner graduation in Mexico, where ChildFund began work in 1973, so this event was even more significant than usual.

After a year of planning and preparation, we held a graduation ceremony in September at Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca, attended by community members, ChildFund Mexico staff members (including our national director and the president of our board). We celebrated the community’s accomplishments with stories and memories. It was with great pride that we noted that some of the former sponsored children were now part of the organization’s staff.

On Saturday morning, the big celebration began. It was a day full of joy and festivity. The founder of Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca opened the event followed by testimonies from a former sponsored child and a mother of another child who served on the administration and parents’ committee. This was followed by a speech from ChildFund Mexico’s national director, along with the presentation of an award in recognition of all they had done. A mariachi band played, too. Finally, children and youth groups presented some dances and theatrical pieces.

When the celebration finished, ChildFund Mexico staff began the long trip back to Mexico City. But the journey reminded us of just how far Colonias Unidas de Oaxaca had come over the last 25 years. We were bursting with satisfaction, pride and happiness as we know that there is a new future for them, a future built on a strong partnership that has prepared them to continue working to benefit their community for many years to come.

2 Responses to ChildFund Mexico’s First Local Partner Graduation

  • As a child fund sponsor, I am really impressed with the work this organization is doing world-wide. Recently I visited my sponsored child in Dominica and although my application was late the authorities in Dominica were totally supportive in making this happen. It was a wonderful experience for me, my sponsored ‘daughter’, the school mates, the teachers, child fund officials and my host in Dominica Msgr. William John Lewis. While I was interviewing a child fund officer in one room I could hear the children singing and drumming. Later when I joined them I found out it was Msgr. leading them in song, given that he is an accomplished singer with recordings. It was like everyone became a child again. I will never forget the look on those children faces at Morne Jeune Primary School and their enthusiasm requesting that the Msgr. sing one more before he goes. As a result he was invited by the principal to do a school concert in the near future. I look forward to that happening and hope I will be there to attend. Keep up the GREAT work.

  • Dear Valeria,

    I m proud to read you. Thank you for share your view and experience.

    Let´s keep going for more work along the LP and the mexican children.

    Te sigo.

    Alex.

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