A Life with Dignity - Gender Rights & Equity for Indigenous Youth & Adolescents
“A Life with Dignity – Gender Rights & Equity for Indigenous Youth & Adolescents” aims at providing young people, especially those belonging to the indigenous communities, with skills and knowledge to access education or employment opportunities, contributing to the promotion of social inclusion and decrease in poverty.
The city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, in Chiapas, is a recipient of indigenous population who come in search of better living conditions. Being in situations of vulnerability and / or social disadvantage, children and adolescents are living in a marginal context without school instruction, poor nutrition, little access to health services or decent housing, and at risk of being victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, drug consumption and prostitution. Approximately 80% of the adolescents live harmful lifestyles that undermine their mental health and impair their process towards adulthood. The project provides an out-of-school space for teaching, apprenticeship, development and protection in order to reduce their vulnerability to abuse, to criminalization and discrimination, as well as to learn their rights and strengthen skills that open better opportunities for income and employment.
The project targets 30 teenagers and young people (12 to 25 years old) of indigenous families that came to San Cristobal from the highland communities of Chiapas to work and / or study who are living in a situation of disadvantage, discrimination and abuse of all kinds.
The 3 main component of the project are:
Education – Through school reinforcement and training workshops with a focus on rights and gender equity, beneficiaries were provided with skills and appropriated tools in order to help them either re-enter into education or obtain a workplace practice in other spaces such as restaurants, travel agencies, hotels and bakeries.
Nutrition – Each beneficiary received a snack which helped to improve the overall nutritional status considering many of them did not have any other meal all through the day.
Psycho-emotional attention – The context of deprivation and poverty that the beneficiaries face on a regular basis negatively affects family environments so the vast majority of children face very severe family violence. The project offered psycho-emotional support to each kid and, upon request, also to their families.
All actions are aimed to contribute to the formation of responsible subjects, capable of establishing healthy interpersonal relationships in family and social life, proud of their cultural roots as well as aware of their rights and responsibilities.