At the British Council we seek to build trust and understanding between the people of the UK and Mexico. We have a vision of a world that is inclusive, where people can live in peace and have access to opportunities to find pathways to better lives.
2018 has been an important year for the Society team in Mexico, and a busy one to say the least. In our first full year we have reached more than 50,000 people through our programmes, workshops, international exchanges, public talks and events.
Our work in Society focuses on three key areas:
- Promoting community-based leaders and leadership
- Understanding the causes of violence that impacts young people in urban contexts
- Supporting emerging public policy makers and the development of high-quality policy
So, what have we done this year?
We launched our global programme, Active Citizens in Mexico, a social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community led social development. We trained 84 community leaders from 20 states throughout Mexico. These community leaders are now training more than 3,000 others and developing social action that addresses the needs of their community.
In July Active Citizens Facilitators presented 22 social action projects, which we had supported through English language classes, training, coaching or funding. All projects have been designed by the communities that will implement them and address needs that they themselves identified.
With the intention of offering the Active Citizens community with an international outlook, 3 trained Facilitators attended the International Facilitator’s Development Workshop in the United Kingdom. They were able to strengthen their understanding of the methodology, connect with other Active Citizens from 11 countries and showcase Mexican culture as well as the work they are doing in their communities. The Kellogg Foundation was a strategic partner for the fulfilment of this programme.
In June we launched Building Movements, a programme that seeks to contribute to a more structured understanding of the causes of violence in Mexico and its impact on young people in urban environments. We held a 3-day conference attended by 72 institutions from national and international civil society, government, academia and the private sector.
This conference enabled difficult conversations about the structural causes of violence to take place. As an outcome of this conference, we developed (in collaboration with our partner CASEDE), a 4-month capacity building programme that supports 65 participants to deepen their understanding of the causes of violence in Mexico and strengthen their abilities to implement projects that address these issues.
We also implemented the second year of Future Leaders Connect, our global network of emerging policy leaders. Following an exhaustive selection process, the Future Leaders attended a regional retreat. Over the course of 3 days, Future Leaders from Mexico, Canada and the USA, reflected on their policy visions and leadership styles and had the opportunity to connect with leading policy makers in their area of expertise.
In October our Mexican delegation travelled to the UK for a 9-day advanced policy and leadership development programme at the Møller Institute at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. They discussed today’s biggest global challenges in the UK Houses of Parliament, meet inspirational leaders and visited world renowned institutions.
The opportunity to connect, share experiences and build trust between actors who do not usually interact lies at the core of our work at the British Council. As we move into 2019, we are looking forward to growing our programmes, developing new partnerships and strengthening the ones we have started this year.
Thank you to all the team at the British Council, our partners and most of all everyone who has been involved with our programmes, none of these achievements would have been possible without you.
Head of Society – British Council Mexico