THP-Mexico Expands to Four States
Update to the Global Board
During this reporting period, The Hunger Project-Mexico dedicated efforts toward successfully hosting the Global Board Meeting in May 2013. Through this meeting preparation, THP-Mexico was able to make significant steps toward effectively communicating program impact and direction, and fully engaging their partners and donors.
Additionally, THP-Mexico has solidified its standing as a well-respected resource among Mexican civil society, reflected in having their expertise called upon by the Government of Mexico for recommendations in the development of the National Crusade Against Hunger and the invitation to represent Mexican civil society at the G20 conference in Moscow.
During the first half of 2013, THP-Mexico expanded its community impact across four states, working with 659 grassroots partners and 72 catalysts (animators) engaging directly in the following areas:
- Oaxaca, Mazateca region, four communities within one municipality
- Chiapas, Highlands region, 29 communities within nine municipalities
- Zacatecas, six communities within two municipalities
- San Luis Potosi, seven communities within one municipality
After almost five years of working with the cooperative J’pas Joloviletik in San Cristobal Chiapas, THP-Mexico formally initiated the expansion of community mobilization. The cooperative also received their first order from the Binational Net partnership.
In Oaxaca, in response to the needs delineated in the Participatory Rural Assessments, community partners concluded the pilot installations of ecological stoves, dry latrines and rainwater collection cisterns. They also developed a housing prototype design.
Community partners in San Luis Potosí signed agreements in seven communities.
In Zacatecas, five of the 10 income-generating projects completed and are now able to reinvest or divide the gains from their projects. THP also launched a new youth animator strategy by inviting youth catalysts from Zacatecas to a centralized animator training in Mexico City.
- Income-generating Projects. Members of the J’pas Joloviletikcooperative engaged in training sessions and follow-up meetings. The members agreed upon a protocol in management of sales, expenses and profits. Through the collaboration with Binational Net, the cooperative members are building capacity in marketing and production, and received an order of 800 belts. In completing this order, they will be able to improve quality control, consistency, and manage deadlines.
- Community Mobilization. In this period, THP-Mexico expanded to communities outside the cooperative for the first time. By visiting homes and villages of the members of the cooperative, THP-Mexico engaged new partners in Vision, Commitment and Action (VCA) workshops. Training for the 1000 Days Nutrition campaign was developed within the cultural framework of the Tsotsil group.
- Youth Mobilization. A youth congress titled “What Really Matters” took place in San Cristobal de las Casas with support from the cooperative and Kellogg Foundation.
- Women’s Empowerment. The Mexican Government’s National Commission for the Development of Indigenous People issued a grant of around $35,000 (457,000 pesos) for the “Women’s Empowerment and Political Leadership Program,” scheduled to start in August 2013.
- Community mobilization. THP-Mexico initiated the pilot installation of ecological stoves, composting latrines and rain harvesting systems, in response to needs identified in the Participatory Rural Assessment conducted in the Oaxaca communities. Additionally, Ayúdame que yo también soy Mexicano (ATM) developed prototype houses for the La Mazateca community. Prior to installing all 89 stoves in the region, catalysts in the communities participated in participatory evaluations/assessments of all systems. They identified that the stoves were a good option, but the rain harvesting systems were too expensive and complicated. The communities therefore established contact with a different organization. They also applied for a grant from the National Institute of Social Development (INDESOL) to fund rain harvesting systems, and received $26,000 (350,000 pesos).
After an arduous process, the community of Génova Nuevo Progeso finished the installation of light posts.
San Luis Potosí
- Community Mobilization. THP-Mexico signed agreements with five new participating communities in San Luis Potosí after a semester of community meetings. The communities include Poyquid, La Candelaria, Tayab Tzen, La Pimienta and Pukte. General assemblies were also held in Lanim and Paxquid. Baseline surveys have been conducted in six of these communities.
As an introduction to THP-Mexico’s work, groups of families participated in VCA workshops in the six communities. Through the VCA workshops, the families established priorities such as improving schools, health and hygiene, housing, local food production and gender equity.
Through a partnership with El Suelo Feliz (Happy Soil), community partners participated in a three-day training on food security and sustainable and locally-oriented agricultural practices, such as composting, responsible land use, desertification and organic production.
- Women’s Empowerment.Communities participated in sensitivity training on gender by celebrating International Women’s Day in March.
- Income-generating Projects. After two years of distance-based monitoring due to violence, THP-Mexico was able to return to follow-up on projects in Zacatecas. Of the 10 income-generating projects, five were deemed by the Ministry of Social Development to have been completed, and now are able to reinvest or divide the gains from their projects. Communities of Social Entrepreneurs (CREA) initiated a new business plan to create an integrated poultry farm.
- Youth mobilization. THP-Mexico launched a new youth animator strategy by inviting youth catalysts from Zacatecas to a centralized animator training in Mexico City. Many of the participating young people were sons or daughters of current catalysts in Zacatecas.