The Centre of HopeFor Children (CEI)
The Centre of Hope for Children/ El Centro de Esperanza Infantil A. C. at Crespo #308 in downtown Oaxaca is a small but very busy administration and community centre whose staff of paid and volunteer workers believe “You change the world when you help educate a child!”
When Harold and Jodi Bauman from Missouri came to Oaxaca in 1984, they responded to the poverty they witnessed by sponsoring one family of Triqui children for school. Their generosity was contagious and in 1996 they chartered Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots in the USA to manage donations – still going strong! Please visit their website at OaxacaStreetChildrenGrassroots.org
The school sponsorship program succeeded to the point that it needed a place and a staff in Oaxaca to administer it. In 1999 the Baumans and their supporters purchased a 25’ X 75’ lot filled with rubble and built an administration and community centre called The Centre of Hope for Children/El Centro de Esperanza Infantil A. C. – now a registered Mexican charity governed by its own Board of Directors.
Amazingly, this tiny space contains administration offices for the School Sponsorship and Food Programs, a medical clinic, a growing library, a computer lab, meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining hall and an open courtyard for gatherings of all kinds.
In addition to the paid staff there are a host of volunteers, including many Canadians, who work in the kitchen, offer music or art lessons, tutor children, offer vocational training to parents, run medical and dental clinics, and organize events.