In a combined effort with the Stirling Foundation, A Child’s Hope Foundation hosted a delegation of eight amazing DIF leaders from three states in Mexico; Baja California, Nuevo León, and Jalisco. DIF stands for Desarrollo Integral de la Familia and is the government agency that oversees Mexico’s social services, including the care of orphans and vulnerable children.
We facilitated this five-day event to accelerate the improvement of care policies for kids as well as to create a strong network between different government agencies and nonprofit partners. This dynamic summit created a high-connection environment for participants to share ideas and opportunities.
The week started with the Orphan Care Symposium with the delegates and some of our partner organizations; Both Ends Believing, Back2Back, The Hope Effect, Saprea, The Hope Foundation, and Utah’s Children’s Justice Center.
During the time together, each agency and organization was allowed to share about their programs pertaining to orphans and vulnerable children—followed by a “speed dating” session where each group of delegates met with each presenting partner to discuss the logistics of the next steps. Great and exciting conversations took place because of the direct applicability of the partners’ programs to the delegates’ needs (e.g., foster care, transitioning kids to adulthood, case management).
The delegates were also divided into inter-state groups with an ACHF representative, where they discussed one thing in their state that is performing well, one thing that they want to improve, and its obstacles. This semi-formal conversation allowed these government peers to learn from each other and garner respect. This component of the Summit afforded the delegates valuable time to get tactical in how they intended to implement this information in their state.
This moment was where the mantra “unity creates strength” truly shone forth. The three delegates from Nuevo León even constructed a 6-step plan, and the delegates from Jalisco made specific assignments about turning their ideas into reality. A Child’s Hope will continue to facilitate and monitor the collaboration of representatives and partners to ensure results
The week’s outcomes surpassed our expectations, and it amazed us to see the collaboration already happening because of it. The delegates expressed the renewal of hope and confidence in not doing this great work alone. A Child’s Hope plans to capitalize on the momentum and generate real change by planning similar events in the future.
Thoughts from our Attendees
The saying “We have allies” and “We are not alone” will remain forever in my memory because we always accompany families. Now we are accompanied by all of you. I am passing this along to my colleagues: keep doing things with love because although it is a job, we always do it that way and are now motivated. – Martha D., DIF Nuevo León
“[The partnership with A Child’s Hope is] precious, because thanks to you we managed to have this approach; otherwise we would not have had it, perhaps it would never have occurred to us to look for this support in the United States, which, being a neighboring country, we believed was distant or very foreign to our problems and processes, now we see that this is not the case, that we have many things In common and above all, we share a love for children, particularly for institutionalized children, and we seek the same goal, which is that one day we can say that we don’t need more orphanages. I am truly amazed at [ACHF’s] work, and I admire and appreciate their commitment to children.” – Gaby I., DIF Jalisco
“It was great to connect with other NGOs in the orphan care space, understand the challenges they are addressing, and connect with the eight delegates from DIF. Together we can make a bigger difference.” – Joe D., The Hope Effect