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Projects run by the awardees

Projects to support the indigenous population in Mexiko

For forty years, Bishop emeritus Samuel Ruíz García, 2001 awardee of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, has been the head of the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas which is situated in an Indian area and which is one of the poorest and most conflict-ridden regions of Mexico. Here, he initiated several human rights projects for the indigenous population, three of them also supported by the City of Nuremberg.
Situation of the Indigenous Population in the Southern Mexican State of Chiapas
The Mexican federal state of Chiapas not only has a particularly high percentage of indigenous people, but the social and economic discrimination against the Indian population is also very apparent here. Many Indian villages are not connected to the drinking water and electricity networks. Medical care is very bad and there are too few schools. Accordingly, the child mortality rate is high. Chiapas is also one of the Mexican federal states with the highest illiteracy rate among the indigenous population. The largest part of fertile land, the cattle farms and coffee plantations belong to a small number of large landowners who often don't even pay their workers minimum wages. Unemployment is high. Countless landless people have to live in hovels unfit for human habitation. The large majority of Indians are day labourers or smallholders: discriminated, marginalised, without rights. In 1994, Indians organized in the "National Zapatista Liberation Army" of Chiapas rose in revolt in order to draw attention to their plight. As a result the major part of the Mexican army has been stationed in Chiapas since.

The Project NICH K’KOK’

This project focuses on indigenous children and young people who have to live in the streets of the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas under extremely difficult circumstances. The small premises of the NICH K’KOK’ project provide the girls and boys with a refuge where they may find help, food and – in a very limited way – accommodation. The project organizers want to give a chance in life to these street children. They are therefore making great efforts to provide their charges with medical care, to give them psychological help and access to school education and professional training. The children's development is supported by education and training programmes based on their ethnic and cultural roots.
Financial support is urgently needed to continue the project NICH K’KOK’.

If you want to support this particular project, please send your donation to:

Stadt Nürnberg
Sparkasse Nürnberg
IBAN: DE50 7605 0101 0001 0109 41
BIC: SSKNDE77XXX

Please quote the reference "Menschenrechtsbuero, Spende Ruiz/ Strassenkinder"
on the credit transfer form.

The Community House "Hogar Comunitario"

During the war in Chiapas, numerous indigenous women were raped by Mexican soldiers. If this resulted in a pregnancy, the women were victims in more than one way: An illegitimate child for many of them also meant that they were excluded from their families. Furthermore, because of the militarization of this federal state and of the miserable living conditions many younger indigenous women left their communities to look for a better future in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas – their high hopes were rarely fulfilled, more often resulted in a life of loneliness and without protection.
In June 1997, Maria de la Luz Ruiz García, the sister of Human Rights awardee Samuel Ruiz García, founded the Community House "Hogar Comunitario Yachil Antzetik A.C.“ in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The institution which is under the patronage of a non-profit making association looks after women with unwanted pregnancies in order to prevent abortions and avoid abandoned babies. It offers psychological, medical and social support, as well as literacy and education programmes. It gives the women access to training programmes and acts as a broker for jobs so that the women may establish new perspectives for their lives.

It is the intention of Bishop Ruiz García to expand the Community House to a general centre for peace and human rights education, as a contribution towards reconciliation in this conflict-ridden region, towards a culture of respect for life and towards the development of a non-violent society based on solidarity.
Financial support is urgently needed to secure the existence of the community house "Hogar Communitario“.

If you want to support this project, please send your donation to:

Stadt Nürnberg
Sparkasse Nürnberg
IBAN: DE50 7605 0101 0001 0109 41
BIC: SSKNDE77XXX

Please quote the reference "Menschenrechtsbuero, Spende Ruiz/Gemeinschaftshaus“
on the credit transfer form

Radio spots for indigenous women

Since 2010 the City of Nuremberg has supported a new project: An evaluation of Yach´il Antzetic in 2008 revealed that – due to wide spread illiteracy – women affected by domestical violence and women who accidentally got pregnant are hardly to be reached and therefore can´t be informed on the offers of the Hogar Communitario.
The new project answers to this problems by using the most prevalent communication medium, which is the radio.
Radio spots will provide health education, information on contraception, aids prevention and advise women on their rights and on the support opportunities of the Hogar Communitario.

Furthermore Mexican society should be made more sensitive for questions of prevention and domestical violence. The spots also should be aired in the two most frequented indigenous languages.

The 24th January 2011 Bishop Samuel Ruíz García passed away at the age of 86. With him the projects lost their most important promotor. Now it is important to ensure the continuation of his lifework.

If you want to support this project, please send your donation to:

Stadt Nürnberg
Sparkasse Nürnberg
IBAN: DE50 7605 0101 0001 0109 41
BIC: SSKNDE77XXX

Please quote the reference "Menschenrechtsbuero, Spende Ruiz/Gemeinschaftshaus“ on the credit transfer form

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