Violence and conflict resolution in Mexico

Post a Comment » Written on August 9th, 2012     
Filed under: Community Development
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Women's group at the conflict resolution class

The city of Monterrey, Mexico, is home to one of our partners, the Foundation for Family Development (FDF). This project joins with families and individuals in finding solutions to the problems of poverty and violence in this community. For more information on our partnership with FDF, visit the project page here.

A few of the primary ministries of FDF include conflict resolution workshops, a kid’s club, and a women’s group. Below are testimonies from participants in each of these ministries:

Conflict Resolution Workshops

From Maria Del Carmen Graciano Tenorio:

“These talks have helped me better understand conflicts in my family and have more confidence in myself in order to talk with others and try to resolve our differences.  The other day I was talking to my husband on the phone and he got mad and hung up on me.  I let a half an hour go by and I called him up and I told him please don’t hang up on me again because if he was upset it wasn’t my fault.  He apologized and knew that I was right.”

From Maria Del Socorro V.C.:

“The workshop has helped me resolve problems with my family and there is more unity with my husband and kids.  I talk to my neighbors about what we are learning and they tell me about their problems.  I listen to them and share how they could resolve their problem.  A friend was having problems with her husband and their marriage was at risk, and she asked me, “What should I do?  I don’t want to lose my husband.”  I told her that she needed to talk to him to find out in which ways each of them were failing.  She did it and after they talked they decided to give it another try and now their marriage seems to be working out much better”.

Kid’s Club

From Claudia Garza, Programs Director:

Children at violence prevention class

“Lucero, Hector and Edgar belong to the intermediate group of the Kid’s Club.  They live in La Campana, a difficult environment, characterized by poverty and the lack of opportunities.  There abuse and violence are part of their daily bread – violence in their home, violence at school, violence in their community.  Working with these kids is something that really is worth it.  In spite of the environment in which they live, we are excited to see that they are acquiring values that they practice daily.  Since February we have been sharing Project Change with them, a violence prevention workshop for elementary age boys and girls.  Listening to them they fill your heart with joy, they are transparent, loving and see life with much optimism.

Hector is 8 years old and he is quite proud of himself because he helps his dad by passing him the cement blocks and mixing the cement whenever he accompanies him to work.  He and Brayan, a friend from school, are good friends, and whenever other kids bother them or hit them, they defend each other.  He has an uncle that likes to spend time with him and they talk a lot and play soccer together.  Whoever loses has to pay for the snack.

Lucero is 10 years old and although she should be with the older group, she says she enjoys being with this group.  Her best friend is Deisy.  They play together and whenever Lucero gets some money she shares it with her friends.  She doesn’t like to hang out with girls that like to fight.  She says that people like to hang out with her because she is gentle, she doesn’t fight and she shares what she has.  She loves to read and her favorite story is Pinocchio.  Her dad reads it to her and she cries when they take Pinocchio away from Geppetto.  Lucero says she is proud to belong to the FDF because it is a place where people get along, have fun together and help each other.

Edgar is 8 years old and is proud of himself because he likes to help others and is a good soccer player.  His best friend is God and He loves Him the most in the whole world.  He is happy when he takes a shower because he loves the feeling of getting clean and fresh after having been so sweaty.  He is happy when he has a birthday and celebrates with his family.  The best thing is his life right now is being at FDF.  He says that whenever he is sad he runs up to his mom and asks her for 10 pesos (a little less than one dollar, which is what the kids pay to participate in the Kids’ Club) and he asks his aunt to bring him to the FDF with her”. 

Women’s Group

From Adriana Alday Vallejo, Administrative Assistant and leader of the Women´s Group:

Women participating in leadership training session

¡Hola!  My name is Adriana Alday Vallejo and I am 35 years old.  I am married to a wonderful man that God gave me, Francisco Javier Chavira, and we have two beautiful daughters, Abigail and Lizeth.  I would like to share my life testimony of my time here at the FDF.

I arrived about six years ago when I first brought my daughters to the kids club and since I had to walk back up the hill to go home, I decided to just wait around for them at the FDF.  There were other moms in the same situation and so Marisol Martinez, a missionary at the FDF, decided to offer the women Bible studies while our kids were in class.  We began with only three women, but as the kid’s club grew, so did our women’s group.  What I appreciated most is that even though I am Catholic they respected my religion, my beliefs and that is why I felt accepted and loved.

When Kerith Weld arrived, another Covenant missionary, she started arts and crafts classes.  She invited me to be a part of the leadership committee and that is when I became more involved in the FDF.  A little bit later my daughters began to volunteer with Project Down (a ministry of the FDF that serves families with children with Down’s Syndrome), and not long after I also became a volunteer.  As you can see, my daughters were always the ones who encouraged my participation, and serving others has always been an important part of our lives.  We have experienced much joy, believe me we have received so much more than we have given.  It really is exciting, that feeling of serving your neighbor is hard to explain.

Today I am the coordinator of the women’s arts and crafts group as well as a teacher of the youngest ones in Project Down, where my daughters continue to volunteer.  Project Down is something I really enjoy because besides serving we also share activities and fellowship together and this is something we do as a family.  I thank God for bringing us to the FDF.  My girls are now adolescents, 15 and 12, and basically they have grown up at the FDF.  They are really good girls with values and principles and the FDF has contributed to their formation, to their holistic development and most importantly to their relationship with God.  I see them with a hunger for God.  They want to know more of his Word and this fills me with great happiness.

About two years ago I was given the opportunity to work as the Administrative Assistant at the FDF.  This was another big challenge for me and I thank God that I have done well.  When I arrived I never imagined that I would achieve so many things, but now I know God had a plan for me.  I have grown so much as a person, as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife and in my relationship to God, as I had the opportunity to be discipled by Erika Clauson, another Covenant missionary.  My spiritual growth is one of my most important achievements and now I am discipling a small group of women and I am learning together with them more about God’s Word.  The FDF has been a huge blessing for me and my family.

May God bless all those who help make it possible for organizations like this to exist and serve others.

Praise God for the work he is doing in this community and the lives of those who live there. Please consider supporting this amazing ministry by giving here.

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