Category Archives: Education

Volunteers needed for exam time!

Hola friends of Mision Mexico,

We urgently need volunteers to come and assist us at Mision Mexico for the months of July, August and September.

The children are coming up to their end of year exams and will be commencing their summer holidays in July. We are looking for enthusiastic, caring and fun volunteers who are available over these holidays and into the new school year to be mentors, friends and teachers.

As those of you who have volunteered with us before will know, time at Misión México is not a holiday, however it is incredibly rewarding and you will leave with the satisfaction that you have made a difference in the lives of these wonderful children.

We would love to see your smiling face in Tapachula again and this time, why not share the experience with a friend? We are also looking for volunteers with specific theatre, musical and artistic skills to run small programs with the children over the holidays.

Why Volunteer‬?

“What I enjoyed the most about my time ‪volunteering‬ at Mision Mexico was feeling part of the family and being accepted so fast! It reminded me that having a ‪family‬ that really cares for you and loves you is the most important thing in life and I need to appreciate more what life has offered me.

I will never forget Marli painting herself from head to toes on my first volunteer shift. Or my first ride in the bus to the beach, where we all squeezed in and were singing along with songs from Bruno Mars & Co. Or teaching the girls some choreography and seeing how much fun they had learning the dances. Mision Mexico was such a rewarding experience for me that my family and I have decided to become ‪Education‬ ‪Sponsors‬ for one of the little boys. I love that I can still be part of their journey even if I am no longer in ‪Mexico‬”.

Nicole, ‪Volunteer‬ 2014

Volunteers must be over 21 and commit to a 6 week minimum volunteering period.

If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer with us in Tapachula or would like further information about our volunteer program or even share your skills locally to fundraise for our Misión México family please contact volunteer@lovelifehope.com

Come and be part of our family and help keep our beautiful children smiling!

Pam’s December 2015 Newsletter

Every three months, Pam, the co-founder of Misión México, writes an exclusive update on what has been going on at the orphanage. In the newsletter you can read about the new children, read exciting news and hear all about the refuge’s latest events, straight from the mother of the house!

You can subscribe to our newsletter for free, for a unique and heart-warming insight to life at Misión México.

Get a glimpse of life in Tapachula today, by reading our December 2015 newsletter.

Easter time wish for an education

This Easter become an education sponsor and help make a child’s dream become a reality.

Did you know that many of our children have never attended school before arriving at Mision Mexico and that the lack of education is one of the most significant contributing factors to poverty in Mexico?

Homework time

Here we strive to break the cycle of poverty by teaching the children in our care about the importance of education, ensuring every child is enrolled in school and giving them opportunities to gain employment. Through the generous support of our education sponsors we have 10 children in our homeschool program, 26 attending primary and secondary school and 5 in university.

By becoming an education sponsor or making a one off donation you can witness the life-changing difference made possible through your support. Continue reading

We need you!!!

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We urgently need volunteers to come to Misión México and help our kids. We have recently taken several new children into our home and we need energetic, enthusiastic people on deck to act as mentors, friends and teachers to our kids…and of course, to have fun while you’re doing it!

As those of you who have volunteered with us before will know, time at Misión México is not a holiday, however it is incredibly rewarding and you will walk away from the place with the satisfaction that you have made a difference in the lives of these wonderful children.

We would love to see your smiling face in Tapachula again. And this time, why not share the experience with a friend?

As well as needing volunteers to help us out generally, we are currently looking for:

Youth Transition Workers – to act as role models, mentors and supervisors for our young adults as they transition to an independent lifestyle in our male and female transition houses.

Homeschool Teacher– to work with our daughter, Brooke Skuse, to homeschool some of our children who find it difficult to learn in the mainstream education system.

Both roles are a minimum of 6-12 months with living expenses covered.

If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer with us in Tapachula or share your skills locally to fundraise for our Misión México family please contact volunteer@lovelifehope.com
 
Come and be part of our family and help keep our beautiful children smiling!

Look what we made

Look what we made

brotherly learning

With warm regards,
Pam and Alan Skuse

Celebrating the importance Literacy Day

Most of us don’t remember not being able to read. Having been taught at such a young age, we take the ability to deceiver shapes, turn them into sounds, words, then sentences for granted. And when reading is such a natural phenomenon you don’t realise how vital it is for surviving modern society. From instruction manuals, to newspapers, bank statements to school text books, being able to read enables you to progress.

Because if you can read, it is easier to learn; and when you are able to learn you can receive an education; and when you are educated, you can overcome any barriers that may be in your way and fulfill you potential. The ability to read, therefore, is a human right and as such should be available to all. Sadly, according to the World Literacy Foundation 57 million primary aged children all over the world are not in school, and 123 million young people are unable to read or write. In Chiapas, the state where Misión México is based, literacy rates are the lowest of the whole country.new balance shoes

reading in English

Reading in English!

We, therefore, take reading very seriously and we make sure that every child that comes through our door spends time with books. Because reading isn’t just about equipping our children with the tools they need to progress in school. It is about investing in a child’s imagination, giving them space to develop their creativity, and building their confidence and self esteem. Books allow children who have lived through trauma a chance to enter into new worlds, explore different possibilities and arrive at a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

We are so grateful to be able to give our children access to a library of books donated to us from all over the world and now some of our children are now able to read in English and Spanish. In fact reading is so important that now the older children take the time to read with the younger ones, enabling them to build relationships with one another and learn what it is to care for and teach someone.

brotherly learning

Brothers learning to read

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Mision Mexico education programme and to everyone that has donated us books.

Want to come and be part of the team that changes our children’s lives through reading and education. We are looking for volunteers!

Teacher’s aide needed in Tapachula

reading in English

Ali reading in English

Education is one of our key priorities.

The new school year is starting soon with all the children enrolled for the coming year, that is, all except five children who have learning difficulties.

Some of these children have been in school for a year now and still can’t read. Our daughter Brooke Skuse is taking on the responsibility of homeschooling five of our Mision Mexico  children plus her own two children.

Learning at home with mama

Learning at home with mama

 

 
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Therefore, we need help. We are looking for a teacher’s aide for primary level to volunteer with us long term,  minimum of 12months. We can guarantee it will be a challenge, but also rewarding. Accommodation and food supplied.

Please email info@lovelifehope.com if you are interested in this once in a lifetime opportunity and would like more information. 

“Nine tenths of education is encouragement.” Anatole France
Quique

Quique learning at home

Working Towards a Sustainable Community

Misión México (UK) Trustee Laura Vanessa Muñoz reflects on how Pam and Alan Skuse are working towards a sustainable community in Tapachula, Mexico by providing a loving, secure family home for abused and severely disadvantaged children.

Critical to this direction towards a sustainable community has been Misión México’s young adults becoming independent and self-sufficient. A number of them are now at a stage in their lives where they need to establish life skills that are difficult to develop in the current Misión México system. Their Youth Transition Program will enable the teenagers in their transition to adulthood, whilst continuing their education, and will provide them with life skills that they would not have otherwise.

The full article is featured in the Mexican Chamber of Commerce  Mexico Weekly.

To support our Youth Transition Program please visit our program donation page or donate here.

Cooking dinner for the girls

Cooking dinner for the girls

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Mother’s day – Mum’s inspiring change

This past month we have been celebrating International Women’s Day at Mision México. We have interviewed three of our incredible young ladies, explored the role of men in inspiring change for women, and now on Mother’s Day we turn our attention to mums.

International mum movements

The role of educated, empowered, equipped mothers in the development of their families, communities and nations is widely documented and underpins the push behind many campaigns aimed at young girls such as The Girl Effect led by Nike Foundation, in collaboration with the NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Coalition for Adolescent Girls. The idea behind many of these international movements is to “leverage the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world.?

The international community is united in their desire to end the suffering of women for whom motherhood has been forced upon them too early or has caused them great suffering due to a lack of access to maternal health care. Furthermore, there is a recognition that young girls who become mothers too early leave school, are unable to work or generate an income, which not only leaves themselves and their children in a hugely vulnerable position, but means they are not contributing to the economic growth of their country. In fact, in India, adolescent pregnancy results in nearly $10billion in lost potential income per year! It is also well documented that children of mothers who have been forced into motherhood too early are likely to repeat the pattern and so the cycle of poverty continues.

Pamela Skuse’s effect at Mision Mexico

 At Mision México we have seen the powerful effect a strong, compassionate, loving mother can have on young girls (and boys). Pamela Skuse has become a source of inspiration, comfort and advice for all her children and her determination that they should be educated, compassionate and driven can be seen in the choices they make and the self believe they exhibit.

She is an example of how when we invest in young girls, they grow up to be well equipped mothers, who break the cycle of poverty for their children. Pam’s children have come from a wide range of backgrounds, some poor, some abusive, some neglectful. She changed their lives, with the help of our sponsors, by giving them an education and instilling in them determination, self believe, and a desire to follow their dreams. We have already seen the effect this has had on Maria, Katherine and Dulce and we can’t wait to see how they, and all the children at the refuge, change the world for themselves, their future families and their communities.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May we wish a Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there working hard to give their children the childhood they deserve and may we thank those investing in young girls all over the world so they may reach their full potential and inspire change in their own lives and the lives of others if they choose to become mothers. May you have a restful day surrounded by those who love you most.

Maria’s Story – Inspiring change for International Women’s Day

In the run up to International Women’s day 2014, we at Mision México have decided to interview three exceptional young ladies from our family. This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring change’ and these girls certainly do that! So far we have spoken to Katherine and Dulce and last, but certainly not least, it’s Maria!

Maria

Maria at her Christmas Concert 2014

If Maria was a Spice Girl, she would be sporty spice! She is a keen surfer and football player and is currently studying dance. Her dream is to run her own dance studio and help children overcome trauma through dance. Like all the young ladies at Mision México she is talented, intelligent and highly motivated to build on the change she has seen in her life and become a successful young lady!

What strikes you most when you speak to Maria is her sheer determination to “be the best I can be in everything I do.?  Her can-do attitude to life is mirrored on that of her sporting hero Bethany Hamilton, professional surfer, who lost an arm after being attacked by a shark. “She showed women that, even when missing a part of ourselves, we can do amazing things, and that we deserve to be treated equally? she told me.

Maria’s call for change

Maria is adamant that things need to change for women all over the world: “men can treat us as if we are cheaper when we are not. Being a woman in Mexico is tough.? Maria certainly speaks from experience. Her ‘womanhood’ was forced upon her far too early when, aged three, her mother died. Aged 5 she was forced into domestic slavery by her family who sent her to live with a stranger after her grandfather tried to sexually abuse her. You can see her full story below in an MTV documentary “Invisible Slaves? where she tells her own “Cinderella? story of domestic servitude, sleeping on a cardboard sheet, and being beaten with a cord when she hadn’t sold enough in the street. Her story begins at 8.07mins

Thankfully, her life changed “completely?, when aged 8 she found the courage to run away from where she was living and seek the help of a lady she often sold to. Once they believed her story she was referred to the social services and eventually Mision México  where “I had two parents who showed me what it was like to have unconditional love, and I had a big family to show me what it was like to be united.?  This changed her life; she became proud of who she was.

Maria teaching dancing at Mision Mexico

Maria teaching dancing at Mision Mexico

For Maria, change needs to occur in every aspect of women’s lives in every corner of the world – they need greater access to education, to jobs, to political power, but perhaps most importantly, to hope, to safety and to acceptance. When I asked her what advice she had for young girls all over the world she told me “things need to change so that all women everywhere can be proud of who they are, and are not scared of being women. They need to be who they really are, to be the very best they can be and to never give up.?

On International Women’s day, we often celebrate how concrete development initiatives such as education programmes, maternal health initiatives and micro finance projects change the lives of women and their communities as it is easy to evidence. What is more difficult to understand, yet just as important to consider, is how “softer? interventions such as how providing a young girl with community, safety and love can change her life immeasurably.

Pam Skuse and Maria flying high

Pam and Maria flying high

Dulce’s story – Inspiring change for International Women’s day

In the run up to International Women’s day 2014, we at Mision México have decided to interview three exceptional young ladies from our family. This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring change’ and these girls certainly do that! Last week, we interviewed Katherine. Next up, it’s Dulce,

Dulce Surfing

Dulce Surfing

Dulce is another of Mision México’s bright, compassionate young ladies who has overcome a very difficult childhood. Now a keen surfer, a passion she inherited from her father Alan Skuse, she inspires the younger girls in her family to surf without fear and to hold their own with the boys! She loves music and, like Katherine, has chosen to pursue a career that allows her to help others: social work. She is currently in university and describes the purpose of social work as  “letting people know that, as human beings, we all have the same rights – women as much as men.?  When asked why she chose to study social work she told me:

Decision to pursue Social Work

“Mum (Pam Skuse) had such a good life in Australia and she left it behind and changed everything so she could help all of us. She’s been a real inspiration and continues to help even when being incredibly challenged with the children at the refuge. That’s why I’m studying to be a Social Worker, because Mum inspires me to help others.?

Dulce’s story

Dulce ready for class

Dulce ready for class

Dulce’s journey to University, however, has by no means been smooth. When I asked her what the biggest challenge in her life has been, it wasn’t losing her mother to a terminal illness aged 7 or being forced to beg on the streets for money aged 12 that she quotes. It was her grandmother telling her that she didn’t need to study and that a women’s place was at home to look after men that caused the most damage. A firm believer in education from a very young age, Dulce looked to the social services for help who referred her to Mision México. Once there Pam confirmed what Dulce already knew: that she should study.

“Suddenly I didn’t have to work, I didn’t have to worry, all I had to do was study?

However, her studies where further interrupted by her worry for her younger brother who she supported through rehab to help him beat this drug addiction. Unsurprising the emotional strain affected her progress at school.  “I kept asking myself ‘why is this happening to me?’ It is so hard to concentrate in school when you are so sad and I began to doubt myself and think maybe my grandmother was right.?

Mision Mexico inspiring change

However, thanks to her own strength of character, bolstered by Pam and Alan’s continual encouragement, she completed high school and is now flourishing at university. While she recognises that it is hard being a woman, she is proud to be one and admires them for being mentally strong, caring and acutely aware of what is going on around them. This year’s International Women’s Day is important to Dulce: “Change needs to occur, so women are finally equal,? she told me, “all girls should have access to education; they need to show the world that jobs are not only for men!?

Dulce

Dulce Surfing

Dulce represents the self-starters of this world; those of us who know that they possess the intelligence, determination and compassion needed to succeed. Those of us who challenge the status quo and strive for change at all costs. Those of us with self–belief even when circumstance and loved ones tell us we shouldn’t. Not all girls are lucky enough to possess this self-belief, and never have access to the tools to find it – Dulce believes education, family and compassion are what is needed.