Mexico City, Mexico…[Libna Stevens/IAD]
In Mexico City, where more than 22 million people reside, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing hope to a small group of adolescent mothers and children.
ADRA Mexico recently opened a training center in the community of San Rafael to teach these mothers, ages 11-17, the sewing trade so they can earn money to support their children. The center was inaugurated on Dec. 15.
“Our primary objective was to bring some hope to the group of girls who had been kicked out of their homes because of sexual abuse, pregnancy, or because they come from difficult situations in their homes and have been literally left out on the streets, abandoned,” says Rafael Garcia, ADRA Mexico director.
Garcia explains that the project was taken up by ADRA after the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Portales, through the Seventh-day Adventist Metropolitan Conference, began visiting La Casa de las Mercedes (the Home of Mercedes), a private assistance institution has kept its doors open for more than 10 years to the homeless pregnant girls and offer them shelter, food, care and love. The home currently houses 82 young mothers and their children.
Pastor Miguel Angel Giron and the members of the Portales Church began collecting food items for La Casa de las Mercedes. As time went by, they saw more needs for the girls contacted our [ADRA] office and asked if ADRA would take on the project, says Garcia.
“We began the project in July of this year and were able to install the electrical wiring for their training center and equip it with all the needed supplies to get them started with eight sewing machines, tables, blackboard, fabric and all the sewing tools they will need,” he adds.
“ADRA is so pleased to help the girls. It will be a sort of occupational therapy for the girls and bring them opportunity to acquire skills and provide a better life themselves and their children, and they will eventually sell clothes,” he says.
Pastor Wally Amundson, ADRA director for Inter-America, was present at the ribbon cutting ceremony with Garcia and says ADRA is proud to be part of this of this type of project helping young mothers re-structure their lives. He adds that the are several such projects throughout the territory of the IAD benefiting mothers and their children.
Garcia says further plans are for the group to establish a clothing line for children which will have the brandname MAMA, an Spanish acronym which, when translated, means Adolescent Mothers Looking Up.
To learn more about ADRA projects in the Inter-American Division territory call 305.403.4700 or for more information on ADRA and its worldwide projects, go to www.adra.org.