WHAT WE DO
Proyecto Faro (The Lighthouse Project) is a community outreach centre which transforms the behaviours, attitudes and skills of young men, motivating them to become agents of positive change within their families and communities. It does this through providing positive experiences and opportunities to learn English, cooking, wellbeing techniques at no cost to the participants. This allows them to be exposed to positive masculinity; ultimately helping these young men lead happier, healthier lives.
WHY WE DO IT
Here in Tapachula, there is a crisis of masculinity and opportunity for young men. Thousands of students are out of school and youth unemployment is rising. Here in Chiapas, our home state, these factors are amplified as the state has the lowest Human Development Index rate in the country.
One in ten young men are neither working nor studying.
Boys are 50% LESS likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math and science.
A CRISIS OF EDUCATION.
As boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women.
A CRISIS OF MENTAL HEALTH.
Boys are growing up with less-involved fathers and are more likely to drop out of school, drink, do drugs, become delinquent, and end up in prison.
A CRISIS OF FATHERING.
Young men’s old sense of purpose—being a warrior, a leader, or a sole breadwinner—is fading. Many young men are experiencing a “purpose void,” feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification.
A CRISIS OF PURPOSE.
Young men struggle with beliefs and attitudes, communicated by parents, families, the media, peers, and other members of society, that place pressure on men and boys to act a certain way. These pressures tell men to be self-sufficient, to act tough, to be physically attractive in a specific way, to stick to rigid gender roles, to be heterosexual, to demonstrate sexual prowess, and to use aggression to resolve conflicts.
Research overwhelmingly suggests that adherence to these messages and pressures is linked with perpetrating and experiencing many forms of violence, as well as many other destructive behaviours.
Opportunities for employment in Tapachula are limited, and opportunities to learn skills to increase employment are lacking and expensive. Proyecto Faro provides all of it's services to it's participants at no cost.
HOW WE DO IT
OUR PROGRAMS ARE POSITIVE & STRENGTHS BASED
At Proyecto Faro, we take a positive approach to difficult conversations. They are confidential so that participants can share without fear of judgement and experiment with challenging ideas. Our programs create opportunities to experiment, to fail without judgement, and to learn skills, attitudes and approaches that will allow them to change their behaviours in the future.
ARE EVIDENCE BASED
Proyecto Faro delivers evidence-based, pragmatic and relatable interventions, encouraging youth to look at their roles within their families, their communities and Mexico as a whole.
We reach out to young men not typically engaged in conversations about gender and self-development.
Our work at Proyecto Faro is interactive so that the young men can learn at their own pace, rather than sit through a lecture. Our classes are centred around respect, so that each person can reflect on their own lives and the world they live in, to learn, and to decide what sort of contribution they would like to make.
MANHOOD AND WELLBEING PROGRAM
Our Manhood and Wellbeing Program is one of our core programs and works to give our young men the skills they need to become healthy and successful. Early interventions can limit toxic masculinity, promote wellbeing and reduce rates of anxiety and depression that often lead to the prevalent outcomes of suicide and domestic abuse.
We develop their ‘emotional muscle’ and learn how to process and talk about their feelings, thoughts and emotions. We develop skills and tools for supporting their friends and for building healthy relationships with others, including women and people from diverse backgrounds.
They learn how to create their own, strengths-based version of healthy masculinity. They learn to take responsibility for their actions and the impact they have on others.
NUTRITION AND COOKING CLASSES
Poor dietary habits during adolescence have negative impacts on several health and wellness indicators including: day-to-day wellbeing and functioning; achievement and maintenance of healthy weights; proper growth and development patterns; and dental health.
Proyecto Faro provides an engaging cooking skills program that builds self-efficacy, food knowledge and budgeting, while potentially improving the social determinants of health.
Our young men cook twice monthly and are engaged in a variety of cooking opportunities focusing on seasonal and local food ingredients. They are taught the skills necessary to cook selected recipes and are educated about the origins of the dish and ingredients.
English language proficiency is seen as an important skill here in Mexico. 33% of Mexican businesses use English as the main language of internal business communication, 47% use English as the main language of external business communication and 69% of Mexican employers said they felt English was an essential skill when hiring new staff.
On the higher education front, University administrators see English as one of the most important tools for enabling students to reach their academic potential. Nowadays, nearly half (48%) of Mexican universities feature English-taught programmes.
Despite all of this and despite its shared border with the United States, in Mexico still only 5% of the population speaks or understands English.
Proyecto Faro uses proven teaching techniques to teach English at a conversational level in a fun and engaging way. We work towards each of our students gaining a external certificate so they can demonstrate their English proficiency.