For International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women who have helped shape our past, those who fight for our future, and those who press for present day progress. At Misión México, we recognise and celebrate the women behind the scenes, the women who fill our home with love, life and hope, the woman who started it all and the young women that are still rising. This real-life story is dedicated to all the work that is achieved thanks to these women and the work of Misión México, and to one woman, Katherine. This is her story.
Who is Katherine?
A story that is important, unique and inspiring for all individuals, especially those from difficult backgrounds and especially for women like Katherine. Katherine is from Tapachula in Chiapas, one of the poorest regions of Mexico. Like many others, Katherine and her family had little options. As a teenager, Katherine’s education came under threat when it was felt that her joining the workforce would be more beneficial for her family, financially and because the importance of education for females was misunderstood.
Luckily, a teacher at school recognised her talents and helped support Katherine by seeking out ways for her to not only continue her studies, but to make plans for higher education. This is where Misión México comes in! Misión México is a refuge for children that provides education, safety and opportunity whilst bringing love, life and hope back into their lives. Katherine joined our Misión Mexico family as a teenager where she was supported financially, emotionally and practically so she was able to continue her studies and move forward to Prepa. Every year she would finish amongst the top n her class, and along with her grades, Katherine’s confidence and self-belief flourished too.
As her confidence and knowledge grew, so did her dreams. Katherine wanted to go to university, study medicine and become a doctor so that she could give back to the people of Mexico and help the poorer communities. How incredible is that?
Breaking the cycle of poverty
The incredible twist to this story is the ripple that her education caused. Founders of Misión México. Pam and Alan Skuse helped Katherine maintain a healthy relationship with her biological family whilst naturally becoming her second Mum and Dad. At Katherine’s prepa graduation, Katherine’s biological and new-found Mum sat side by side and watched her stand on stage, receive her higher education certificate (one of the tops in the class) and prepared for her next step – medical school. Katherine’s mum turned to Pam and said “I am so thankful you; Alan and Misión Mexico came into my family’s life. You have shown me that girls in Tapachula can get an education and how important that is. You have helped my daughter achieve her dream and shown me that all my daughters should dream”.
Where is Katherine today?
A few years ago Katherine returned to live with her biological family so that she could support and encourage her sisters to remain in school and focus on their education, but would often return to Misión Mexico to visit her second family and to help, inspire and tutor other children in our home.
Thanks to support from donations and education sponsors, Misión México can continue to financially support Katherine’s dreams and was also able to support her family’s education. Katherine´s Education Sponsor, Susan has been sponsoring Katherine throughout her medical degree, and it’s thanks to people like Susan that we can continue our mission. You can read Katherine´s heartfelt letter to Susan below…
Katherine graduated university in December 2017, remaining one of the top students in her class. She is currently completing an internship in a San Cristobel hospital and continues to be supported by Misión Mexico and her sponsor, Susan through our Adult Independent Program scholarship.
Katherine’s mum, who never believed that a female in Tapachula needed an education, returned to school part time and is studying her own secondary qualifications.
How can you help?
Katherine and her family have made incredible steps that are changing their lives. But so many women and children will never receive these opportunities. Mexico itself is a dangerous place to be a woman, where every day roughly six women are murdered in gender-related cases. 781 million adults are illiterate worldwide, two-thirds of these are women. And although girls are achieving higher academic rates at school in many countries, many will not complete their education fully, many will end up working in unpaid labour at home and with their family, and many will not receive the same wages as their male colleagues.
You can get involved by becoming an Education Sponsor for one of our girls, or by sending donations today! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Volunteer! Run projects! And visit us in Tapachula! If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to contact us via social media or apply at email@example.com
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