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Youth lead campaign to prevent irregular migration in Central America and Mexico

FOR INFORMATION:

Dave Stell
communications manager
dstell@ccfcanada.ca
905.754.1001, ext. 223

AT A GLANCE…
  • Children Believe’s office in Nicaragua has launched its “My nation is in my heart” campaign
  • The campaign supports “Preventing Irregular Child Migration in Central America and Mexico,” a project Children Believe is leading in five countries in partnership with ChildFund International and EDUCO
  • Youth are at the centre of the campaign that will give them a voice and educate them about why they should not migrate irregularly

Youth lead campaign to prevent irregular migration in Central America and Mexico

Youth stops giving haircut to smile at camera

MARKHAM, Ont. — “My nation is in my heart’” is the slogan of a campaign to promote access and opportunities for youth in Central America and Mexico. The campaign seeks to prevent irregular migration and inform people about the risks involved. The initiative is led by Children Believe, a Canadian international development organization with more than 60 years of experience, and it’s implemented in partnership with ChildFund International and EDUCO.

The campaign is part of the CONFIO/PICMCA project (Preventing Irregular Child Migration in Central America and Mexico) funded by the Government of Canada.

Irregular migration: complex and multidimensional

A baseline study prepared in 2017 by the CONFIO project, in five countries of the region, highlights why young people, aged 15 to 24, think their future would be better in other countries. It showed the reasons as lack of job options in their communities (65 percent); lack of educational opportunities (34 percent); family reunification (25 percent); and violence (12 percent).

The study for the campaign identified motivating factors for youth to stay in their communities, such as, their family, customs, traditions and relative safety versus the fear of moving to an unknown place as well as entrepreneurship and innovation, linked to developing business opportunities in their communities.

My nation is in my heart

The testimonies and voices of youth are the protagonists of this initiative that will be active for three months. María Isabel López, country director of Children Believe in Nicaragua stated, “At the centre of this campaign are the young people of Central America and Mexico, their voices and their success stories. It’s a campaign that encourages youth to dream without limits — to believe they can achieve the extraordinary.”

In the region, the campaign will reach more than 126,245 young people at the national and regional levels (Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua).

The campaign was launched virtually as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19. However, the participation of youth was guaranteed in a creative way through digital platforms, ensuring they expressed their thoughts, feelings and opinions regarding this issue of great relevance to them.

Borys Chinchilla, regional manager for the CONFIO project, said, “CONFIO trains, provides equipment, inputs and seed funds, so young people can start their businesses and generate income, so that irregular migration is not the only alternative to achieve their well-being.”

The campaign will facilitate communication and timely information for adolescents and young people to prevent irregular migration in the region as well as the risks associated with it.

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Preventing Irregular Child Migration in Central America (PICMCA):

Children Believe is leading a $15.2-million regional project in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, designed to improve the well-being of children and youth who are at risk of irregular migration. The Government of Canada is contributing $12.6 million to the four-year project. The initiative addresses a number of the root causes that fuel irregular migration — from high levels of crime and violence, limited employment and educational opportunities, to social exclusion and a lack of information on the inherent dangers of migrating without following the normal immigration procedures. For this project, Children Believe is partnering with two non-governmental organizations: ChildFund International-USA and Educo.

ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.