A country that shares a border with the United States, Mexico often has a cost of living similar to the U.S. but with much lower income opportunities. This makes life very challenging for families living in poverty.
In the Cuernavaca project, 14 scholarship students offer their services as assistant teachers to more than 90 sponsored children.
These classes cater to students who cannot attend a regular school because they do not have their birth certificates. Although these classes are not part of a formal study program, they do ensure that children receive a parallel quality education.
These classes are free and offered at the local CFCA office. Some teachers are volunteers who support this educational benefit.
Tell us about yourself and when you became a scholar student in CFCA-Cuernavaca?
Erika and her son, Mariano, with their dog in Mexico.
My name is Erika, and I am 30 years old. I have been in the scholarship program since 2004.
What are you studying and when will you graduate?
I completed my degree in physical education in 2011. But throughout the year, I have the opportunity to take courses in human development at the CFCA office.
For example, I am currently in an ethics course, which helps us to improve attitudes and behavior. This is a tool that prepares me to work with sponsored children. I’m starting a course on computers and English at a university.
How does the scholarship help you? How do you use it?
It helps me with my transportation costs to come to the local office, so I can take my courses and give my service to sponsored children. It also helps me with food because sometimes I only have soup to eat.
Thanks to the scholarship, I am able to continue preparing for my future.
What is your community service? How many service hours do you give and how do you think this helps your community?
I come to the local CFCA office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I work with children up to 7 years old, and assist in their physical and mental development. We also support educational activities through games, songs and stories.
Being a part of CFCA helped me to be the person I am today. I think what I bring to my community is the love I give to the children and I try to give them the desire to be better in life.
The young girls often come to me for advice. I am a confidant for them, and I like to help them.