The aim of this visit to Mexico, in December 2017, was to meet with people in the field, in communities in the Morelos and Puebla regions affected by the earthquake of September 2017 (250 deaths), and to examine, with World Vision Latin America and Vision Fund Mexico, chaired by my friend Jorge Vivanco, ways in which Ahimsa Fund could participate in the reconstruction effort.
World Vision works to ensure that Mexico’s children are protected and do not live in poverty. In keeping with this message, World Vision is fully committed to helping the children affected by the earthquake. Vision Fund is participating in these initiatives in Mexico through a micro-loan program.
World Vision’s approach focuses on education for children. It is through art, and notably music and painting, that the organization directs most of its efforts. World Vision helps these children to find joy and hope again, primarily through song and playing musical instruments, enabling them to give free rein, as Emmanuel Kant put it, to their passion and emotions.
In the field, I met some remarkable people who are dedicated to this cause, who are doing what they do quietly, humbly, without recognition or publicity, seeking only to bring happiness to these children. These people, through their compassion, have launched a veritable movement, a wave whose progress will not be stopped. Every time I went out into the field, I saw that this movement is growing. It will change the world.
This wave is characterized by compassion and simplicity, by a smile that enriches all those who receive it, without impoverishing those who bestow it.
I will never forget the look on the face of Dom José, and the tears in his eyes, when he came and decided to dedicate some time in his life to these poor children, to offer them a little comfort and hope.
After two emotional days, as I dozed in the plane from Mexico to Washington, I wondered where happiness really comes from. It seemed to me that, despite their woes, all of the people I had met had a little bit of happiness in their hearts, born of their compassion, gratitude, determination, and love for others.
It is impossible not to be moved by these actions in the field, which, if combined and consolidated in a great push for solidarity, could provide support and reinforcement for this wave, taking it further and faster, and transforming it into a veritable tsunami of hope.
Thank you all for having enabled me to share in this experience.
Ahimsa will return to Mexico.
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Without a doubt, September 2017 was one of the hardest months that Mexicans have lived through for many years. The country was stricken by two earthquakes, affecting thousands of children and their families across five states, three of which have the highest poverty rates in the country.
Once again, catastrophe has hit those least able to protect themselves.
In the face of this emergency, World Vision fielded more than 300 volunteers who provided tons of provisions, tools, more than 30 electrical generators, hygiene kits, water purifiers, mattresses, and more.
World Vision Mexico also set up welcome centers for children, offering protection, emotional support, a friendly atmosphere, and physical and psychological examinations, to help them on their paths to recovery. Each center is equipped with board games, books, toys and materials for creative activities. Support has also been provided to hundreds of children in more than 30 centers set up in Mexico City and the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Morelos, in communities such as San Mateo del Mar, Juchitán, Tonalá and San Gregorio.
At World Vision Mexico, we know that schools must be rebuilt as a priority, so that children can continue to develop fully. We are therefore participating in the reconstruction of nine schools, at which particular care will be taken to reduce inequality between the pupils.
We need everyone’s help in order to eliminate the violence of which children are victims.
World Vision Mexico