Better study environment needed in Mexico for young orphans

September 29, 2015
Hayan Lee   Northwood High school  Senior

By Hayan Lee
Northwood High school

For people living in California, especially in Irvine, it will be hard to imagine a place without clean water, sufficient food, and protective shelter.

However, people living just a few hours away from us across the borders of Mexico, engage themselves in an endless battle against poverty in order to survive.

I decided to take a break from my busy summer in July by volunteering at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. During my trip, I realized the true importance of education.

Education is the key to success no matter how underprivileged one is. After spending time with some of the orphans, I noticed that their eyes gleamed with passion and thirst to learn, to socialize and to succeed. All they need is a chance to thrive.

However, the lack of social programs in Mexico prevents the orphans from satisfying their physiological needs, making it harder for these children to even dream about pursuing their academic goals. Therefore, many orphanages rely heavily in organizations and corporations for funding in order to enhance the quality of education for the orphans.

According to OECD Better Life Index, only 37% of adults between 25-64 have completed upper secondary education. Although the percentage has increased compared to ten years ago, it is still significantly lower than the OECD average of 75%.

Despite the government’s recent effort to enforce social programs to increase enrollment, dropout rates still remain high and many come out of school without a high school diploma.

However, by changing the overall studying environment and by increasing awareness of such poverty-stricken areas, the orphans can learn in a better environment with educated teachers and read proper textbooks.

Moreover, students need to be provided the opportunity to experience various non-academic activities in school, such as music programs, computer science, and visual and performing arts so that they can become true intellectuals.

Further funding can also help passionate teenagers to get into college in order to achieve their dreams. With constant funding, organizations that help underserved orphanages can sustain lives of many abandoned and orphaned children and improve facilities to provide a better environment for the kids to prosper.


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