|Good Things Happening in Mexico!|
AVSI-USA is so pleased to communicate a number of impressive things happening at our partner organization Desarrollo Integral de la Juventud Oaxaqueña (DIJO) in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Award for Child Nutrition Results
On January 25, 2011, DIJO was awarded a recognition for excellent work in child nutrition by the 2nd Annual Child Nutrition Campaign organized by the vitamin company Kiddi Pharmaton http://www.cadenadeayuda.com.mx . This competition chose DIJO as a model for its targeted and holistic approach to food and nutrition needs of the poor and marginalized community of Monte Alban where for years DIJO has managed a community kitchen. DIJO has faced the challenge not only of the quantity of food available to these families, but also the quality and diversity of food by incorporating rigorous and sustained nutrition education for children and mothers, reaching around 300 children every day. Good nutrition has become part of everything that is done by DIJO in Monte Alban, and the results have been impressive, both in terms of improvements in health and growth of the children, but also in terms of knowledge and behavior change of children and adults alike.
Inauguration of new Community Development Center
On February 1, 2011, DIJO celebrated the inauguration of the brand new “Maria de Guadalupe” Community Development Center also in the neighborhood of Monte Alban. With the new facilities being inaugurated, even more children and families will be able to benefit from and participate in the exceptional resource that is their community development center. The construction of this beautiful new center was made possible by a grant from the Enel Cuore Foundation, a corporate foundation linked with a large Italian energy company, as well as financial support from the Government of Navarra, Spain. Cesal, an AVSI-network partner based in Spain, played an essential role in securing the funding support from the Spanish local government. Important funding was also provided by countless private donors, including individuals and families, from throughout Italy and in the US.
The new center will allow for an expansion in programs and services in a safe and stable environment. It truly is a foundation for the community to grow together towards a brighter future.
Watch a slideshow from the inauguration ceremony.
See a Press Release from the Governor of Oaxaca (in Spanish).
(L- new classroom in the Center; R- ribbon cutting ceremony of new building with dignitaries)
Two other events are important to note as well.
US Fundraising Event
On December 28, 2010, a group of friends of AVSI from Houston, Texas, sponsored a benefit dinner to raise funds for DIJO and to express their solidarity with the children and families of Oaxaca. The dinner was a great success, featuring a silent auction and performance of a Christmas play by a group of children. The event was an important moment for the kids who had the chance to give of themselves and therefore reflect actively on the greatest Gift of all which was celebrated at Christmas.
DIJO's New Branding and Image
Also in the Fall of 2010, the directors of DIJO finalized an internal review process and decided to launch a re-branding campaign to complete DIJO’s transformation into an organization capable of sustaining itself and its important programs for years to come. One conclusion of this review process was to begin using a new name and logo for the organization in an effort to distinguish DIJO from other entities in Oaxaca, and in particular a government program. As a result, the name “Crecemos”, or “We are growing”, was decided upon and a fresh, dynamic logo was created. The logo has kept the tagline, “Frente a la necesidad, una Amistad,” which means “In front of needs, a friendship.” While DIJO will continue being DIJO formally, the public image will gradually be shifting towards Crecemos. AVSI applauds DIJO’s commitment to sustainability, their vision, and their willingness to take risks towards an ideal.
You can support DIJO too!