By Chelsea Quackenbush
NEZA, Mexico – The Maná CTC in Neza has opened a satellite CTC in the Las Villas community, a squatter community of extreme poverty near railroad tracks. There currently is no budget for the program, so it relies on volunteers, local church support and small donations. There is a social worker who provides case management for families.
Buckner started its work in the spring primarily by feeding children breakfast. They also handed out Christmas presents to children, provided clothing and toys throughout the year and held a special Mother’s Day celebration.
“Some kids and volunteers sang a traditional congratulatory Mexican song, and the mothers came out of their homes crying because no one had ever done anything like that for them,” said Dexton Shores, a regional director of Buckner Latin American ministries.
Buckner staff are working to develop strong relationships with people in the community before deciding whether to open a full-service CTC. They plan to fully fund the Maná CTC in 2012, so it will be able to extend services for people in Las Villas, which is about 15 minutes away, Shores said.
When mission groups with healthcare professionals from Mexico and the United States visit, they can provide dental and medical services. Spiritual enrichment in the form of Vacation Bible Schools is provided with breakfast, and when clothing and toys are provided.
“The Maná CTC is a good picture of local sustainability,” Shores said. “It wouldn’t have happened without local volunteers, donations of toys and food, and doctors providing free services. It provides a good model to develop ministries.”
The Maná CTC's goal is to increase educational opportunities and job skill training opportunities. Doing so propels families toward self-sufficiency, keeps kids in school and opens the door for better jobs for families.
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