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Education for 250 working children in Chiapas



We will enroll 250 Mayan working children in school. We will also implement educational activities which complement their schooling, reinforcing their confidence in learning, and explaining what their rights are and how they are entitled to be treated at school, at home, and by society. We will accompany children and families in any case of violence or other abuse to ensure the issue is addressed by the authorities, securing specialist psychological, medical or legal support where necessary.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Our city's population has doubled in 20 years. Most newcomers are indigenous Mayans fleeing poverty, religious persecution and political violence in rural areas. Most live in poverty on the city fringes in conditions of marginalization and discrimination. In 2012 we counted more than 3,300 children working in public spaces. In 2010, 24% of the population aged 3 -18 did not attend school. In a 2008 survey, 42% of indigenous women from the Chiapas highlands reported suffering violence in childhood

How will this project solve this problem?

We will help families to enroll children in school and where necesary, to get birth certificates (essential for enrollment but hard to obtain). We will run "learning circles" that encourage children's interest in reading and writing, and provide scholarships for the poorest children. We will run workshops for parents on issues such as school enrollment, children's rights or prevention of violence. We will accompany children to ensure any cases of abuse are dealt with properly by the authorities.

Potential Long Term Impact

250 children who would otherwise not attend school, or drop out early, will access formal education. Their families will also learn about school enrollment, indirectly benefitting up to 800 other children. The children will learn about the practical things that they and their families can do to ensure these rights are complied with. The project will also promote the values of autonomy, dignity and self-respect so that these children grow up learning how to defend their rights themselves.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: £8,317
Remaining Goal to be Funded: £4,095
Total Funding Goal: £12,412

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Melel Xojobal A.C.

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Project Leader

Susana Donaire

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas Mexico

Where is this project located?

Map of Education for 250 working children in Chiapas
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