Updated: Feb 14
Preparing young adults for life beyond Misión Mexico…
Our number one goal at Misión Mexico is to provide the option of shelter and
on-going education for all the children that walk through our doors. We aim to
help break the cycle of poverty that exists for 21.2 million children and
adolescents in Mexico, by providing opportunity, chances and choices for our
young people, which includes our final program, YTP. Our Youth Transition
Program (YTP) focuses on supporting our young people at Misión Mexico
through the transition into adulthood, independent living and higher education.
The focus is to empower these young people in a bid to break the cycle of
poverty and abuse, and further create confident, competent young adults and
positive role models who can successfully live independently.
A History of YTP
Rewind back to 2014 when YTP was first piloted with our first female transition house! Four of our young ladies, aged 18-20 years old, moved into the house with our full-time YTP coordinator and mentor. With the support of the coordinator, our young adults develop skills such as independent and practical living, health and nutrition, positive role modelling, financial planning and budgeting, and practical support sourcing employment. Personal development is also a critical element of the program which aims to improve confidence, interpersonal and negotiation skills, and self-motivation.
The next exciting branch of YTP was our youth cooking program and girls’ youth groups, which were implemented for our children aged thirteen years and over. At this age, we begin the preparation phase which helps identify the strategies and actions necessary to develop their independent and life skills, whilst residing at our main refuge.
Eighteen months later, the program extended to include our first male transition house and boys’ youth groups!
After four years, nine of our young adults have moved through our two transition houses and into independent living with seven more currently living in our YTP today!
Why is YTP so important?
YTP brings opportunity and support for those first tricky years of adulthood as they leave our main family home at eighteen years old. Some of you may be thinking that it’s kind of unnecessary and comparing it to your own lives, however life in Tapachula is extremely different and difficult, and our young adults would not have as many opportunities or choices if it wasn’t for Misión Mexico and programs such as YTP.
YTP enables our young adults to have the opportunity to grow and reach their full potential, transitioning them to independent living whilst allowing them to continue with their higher education and offering multiple avenues and choices for their futures.
In developing, low-income countries, like Mexico, every additional year of education can increase a person’s future income by an average of 10%.
Six million Mexican children and adolescents dropped out of school in 2012, to join the second largest child labour force in Latin America. These young people probably had very limed choices. This labour force includes children who have traded classrooms and pencils for their families, farming and crime. This labour force included some of our own children at Misión Mexico.
In 2012, 21.2 million children and adolescents in Mexico were living in poverty, with more than six million children aged 3-17 out of school. The lack of formal education in childhood often limits the available opportunities and choices in adulthood, which in turn continues the cycle of poverty and crime.
Where are they now?
We have seen some great successes with our young adults who have transitioned through YTP and into independent living! We’re excited to say that we’ve had our first ever female university graduate who quickly secured full-time employment and recently received her first promotion. Amazing! Four of our young adults are living independently whilst continuing with their higher education and university degrees. We’ve celebrated marriages, first homes, full-time employment, and several of our YTP young adults are putting their life skills to use whilst exploring the big wide world outside of Tapachula! YTP has truly been life changing.
The Future of YTP
There are currently twenty young people living in the main Misión Mexico house in addition to the six young adults living in our two gendered transition houses. Over 70% of Misión Mexico youth are involved in some aspect of the YTP as our program starts from thirteen years old. At this age, we begin the preparation phase which helps identify the strategies and actions necessary to develop their independent skills through cooking and small group classes. Currently 23% of the current household are over eighteen years old and within the next three years, 58% of them will be over eighteen years old which means that YTP is essential and growing rapidly.
Our goal at Misión México is to provide support, love, options and choice to all the children that come into our home. Not all our young adults choose the root of university, higher education or even YTP living, and instead choose to follow other paths beyond their lives at Misión Mexico. But that’s what this is ultimately all about, choice.
YTP is one of our most vital and ever-expanding programs, and we wouldn’t be anywhere without your help. We are so grateful for the years of support, love and hope that you’ve shown to us and can’t wait to continue the journey for our next bunch of YTP-ers over the coming years!
Make some small choices today!
For as little as $10 USD per month you can become an Youth Transition Program Sponsor and help our young adults become the best they can be. Click the link below to start your sponsorship today or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information https://www.misionmexico.org/make-a-donation-uk