AVSI’s presence in Mexico began in 1987 with education and micro-business programs in the cities of Oaxaca and Campeche, where AVSI now continues its work indirectly through collaboration with two local partners, Crecemos-DIJO in Oaxaca and Centro de Solidaridad Juvenil (CSJ) in Campeche, and directly in Mexico City and Queretaro Programs now include education, nutrition and family-based support. AVSI and its partners have implemented projects with donors and organizations including the European Union, the Italian Government and the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
Officially recognized by the Mexican government in 1993, Crecemos-DIJO is a member of the AVSI Network. The organization now operates out of 3 centers, the largest of which is the newly renovated Maria de Guadalupe center in Monte Alban. Originally focused on preventing school abandonment, Crecemos now has a joint focus on what they discovered to be a more urgent problem in the community: malnutrition. The centers provide a combination of health monitoring, academic support and recreational activities for children, and income generating activities and nutrition education for adults.
Distance Support Project
Location: Xoxocotlán, Monte Albán and Tlalixtac de Cabrera in Oaxaca State, and Campeche City
Description: Long-term support to over 450 vulnerable children in low-income neighborhoods, improving the conditions for psychosocial and academic progress, while strengthening the capacity of the children’s families, caretakers and local organizations to respond to their needs. Fulfillment of school requirements (uniforms, books, fees etc), nutrition monitoring and intervention, organization of after school recreation and educational activities, and creation of programs designed to improve the economic status of the child’s family through training and support to parents.
Donor Partners: AVSI Private Donors
Promoting the engagement of parents, educators and civil society in education policy in Oaxaca State
Location: Oaxaca State
Description: Involvement of 70 local civil society organizations (CSOs), 160 teachers and educators, 300 parents and 400 young people to increase societal involvement in the formulation of State education policies. Mapping of CSOs including assessment of capacity; professional development courses for public school teachers; activities to increase parent engagement in decision-making processes for primary education; awareness raising and formulation of innovative programs and policies for education in the future.
Donor Partners: European Union
Implementing Partners: Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo de la Educación (INIDE) of the Iberoamericana University in Mexico City; Crecemos-DIJO
Facing the education crisis in Mexico: Teacher development
Location: Six Mexican States, including Oaxaca
Description: Intensive professional development for 50 school administrators and educators with complementary curriculum support and mentoring for 2,000 educators, forming networks of parents, teaches and other school professionals.
Donor Partners: Italian Bishops’ Conference
Implementing Partners: Lumen Gentium Catholic University of Mexico City; CISAV (Centro de Investigación Social Avanzada)
Nourishing People, Feeding Hope in Mexico
Location: Oaxaca State
Description: Integrated program to improve the wellbeing of 300 children, 250 women and their families. Provision of nutritious meals at the Crecemos centers integrated with nutrition education for parents. Monitoring of health with nutritionist on-site. Income generation activities including business training and promotion of artisan crafts for youth and adults.
Implementing Partners: Crecemos-DIJO, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico and Italian Embassy in Mexico City.