JUCONI Mexico is located in the state of Puebla, two hours away from Mexico City. For more than 30 years, JUCONI Mexico has been working with children who drop out of, or who are not spotted by, existing government and NGO service provision. Our experience shows that a violent family environment contributes to children being on the streets and if it continues, is transferred from one generation to another.
In order to address this situation, JUCONI Mexico delivers a 12 month ‘Early Childhood Development and Parent Attunement Programme’, for 170 street market children aged between 0 to 5 years old. These children spend a lot of time alone, with no supervision, in the markets where their parents work, and this also puts them at risk of abuse and exploitation. The programme uses innovative therapeutic techniques to strengthen parents and care-givers skills by getting them to observe and reflect on their child’s early stage of development through the use of free play and video sessions.
ICT started to give additional support to this programme in April 2019 and it now involves older siblings, family visits to museums and the use of a ‘HOME’ inventory by JUCONI family educators to help them to assess the family life of the children and parenting. This is done through a series of interviews with the families in their homes.
Ana and her daughter María have benefitted from the free play and video sessions and Ana says, “Video changed my life (…) I saw how María looked at me and how important I was to her and that she wanted to be with me. I saw that I can be a good mum.” Ana is now part of a mother’s group and María attends a day centre on a regular basis.
Ana’s husband Luis was also encouraged to participate in some of the sessions, in order to address and prevent the use of violence within the home. Recently Ana told us that when her in-laws disapprove of the way in which she is bringing up María, Luis now supports her. This is the first time that Ana has had the courage to stand up for what she thinks is right. “I used to think that it was all down to JUCONI, but now I know that it is me. I have changed.”