Mexico - Fundación Renacimiento and Machincuepa Circo Social

Two NGOs work hand in hand with UNESCO to bring education to the poorest and most vulnerable children of Mexico City. They are the Fundación Renacimiento and Machincuepa Circo Social.

The Fundación Renacimiento shelters street children away from the horrors and abuses of life on the street, encourages and promotes their schooling and offers professional training workshops - in bakery, welding, information technology, carpentry and ceramics. The children from this project develop a strong skills base that enables them to obtain long-term employment and break from the easy temptations of crime on the street. The street shelter also provides a new home and family for many solitary and damaged children. Medical and psychological expertise is available to them there, as well as a warm friendly environment.

Fundación Renacimiento website

Machincuepa Circo Social uses the circus arts to combat violent attitudes and reflexes in the adolescents of the impoverished “Las Aguilas” district. The idea behind the project is that violence has to be stopped in its earliest stages, before children are driven onto the street and into a downward spiral of drugs and gang membership. Groups of young educators are sent out onto the streets to recruit children for their workshops. They mix circus tricks and good humour with strong messages about the need for education and peaceful solidarity with others. By learning to be clowns, acrobats and tightrope walkers, the children develop a self-confidence they never had, enabling them, if they want, to go on to be street educators themselves, spreading a message of hope out through the slum. The training centre has become a hub of activity, working far beyond circus to include a whole host of educational skills for many children. It is also a home, a school and a place to connect with others.

Machincuepa Circo Social website

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