Food for Thought in Mexico

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Posted on 12/10/2013

As a child development agency, one of ChildFund's primary goals is to expand access to educational opportunities for young children, especially those living in communities mired in poverty. In Mexico, many children lack such pre-school opportunities, and without intervention, may struggle to succeed in primary and secondary school. Since 1955, ChildFund has worked in some of the poorest parts of Mexico to provide children with access to early childhood development programs and initiatives that will allow them to acquire the cognitive skills they need to succeed in school and later life.

Optimism Amid Enduring Difficulties

After many years of funding challenges, the Mexican government committed to substantially increase spending on education. As a result, virtually all children in Mexico enroll in pre-primary education, according to UNESCO. However, the Mexican education system still faces significant challenges in providing students, particularly very young children, with the quality of instruction they need. Student-teacher ratios are still high, meaning that children with learning difficulties often fail to receive the individual attention they need to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. Over time, this can have a serious effect on a child's likelihood of success in later grades.

Much progress has been made in expanding coverage of education and health care facilities across many parts of Mexico. In fact, data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests that education spending in particular has remained largely stable, despite reductions in government revenue. However, the quality of these services varies widely, and demand often places great strain on existing schools and health care facilities. Without support, many children will go without vital educational opportunities, and their overall cognitive development will suffer as a result.

Supporting Young Minds

ChildFund takes early childhood development seriously and has worked hard to ensure more children in Mexico can access the services they need to improve their chances of success later in life. One program in particular, our early stimulation initiative, has seen great success. Through the expansion of this project, we helped 2,490 children in areas relating to childhood cognitive development, which lays a strong foundation for later learning.

Several of our other programs for children in Mexico focus on the development of learning skills and other essential attributes. For example, our cognitive development and literacy programs help children learn how to make decisions, improve their reading skills and strengthen their abilities to reduce learning gaps across varying age groups. Our Reading to Transform initiative helped 255 children develop their literacy abilities and improve their likelihood of succeeding in early grades once they enter school.

The support of our donors and partners has been invaluable in expanding these vital programs and giving more Mexican children a solid start to their academic lives. However, there is still much to be done, and one of the best ways you can help us ensure that children have the best possible chance of success is by sponsoring a child.

For just $28 per month, you can help ChildFund provide essential supplies to a child living in poverty. Some of our sponsored children, such as Noemi, have been long-term sponsored children, and thanks to the generosity of her sponsor, she is currently enrolled in college, where she is pursuing a degree to become a foreign-language teacher.

Sponsoring a child makes an incredible difference, and is one of the most direct and rewarding ways to invest in the future of a boy or girl in need of assistance. Please consider becoming a child sponsor and make a difference in the life of a Mexican child today.