SHAPING THE FUTURE SINCE 1989
Asociación CINDE (Children’s Development Centers) is a Salvadoran non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote a well-rounded education to children, adolescents, and young adults from excluded social sectors, through diverse actions that favor their integral development.
Currently, we have programs for children, youth and women in the municipalities of Ayutuxtepeque, Ciudad Delgado, Mejicanos, and Soyapango. These are metropolitan areas of the country’s capital, all with similar characteristics of overpopulation and overcrowding, violence, unemployment, concentration of informal trade in the streets and an absence of childcare programs.
The organization opened its first Children’s Development Center in 1989, as an alternative for the children of the mothers who are street vendors. These children, aged between 0 and 6 years old, would usually spend the whole day with their mothers selling their products in the streets, due to the lack of public early childhood programs. This meant that they would miss school, hindering their overall development.
CINDE (Children’s Development Centers) was created in the year 1989, under the sponsorship of Asociación Fe y Alegría (Association Faith and Happiness), in view of the living conditions of the women street vendors. On a daily basis, these women take to the streets to make precarious sales, keeping with them their young children in very adverse conditions for their development.
In view of this situation, in April of 1989, Marisa de Martinez (director of the organization) together with Father Joaquín López y López, one of the six Jesuit priests who were assassinated just a few months after in a local university in El Salvador, opened the first Children’s Development Center in Soyapango (Metropolitan Area of San Salvador) as a project within Fe y Alegría (Faith and Happiness). Two other centers were created after this: one in Mejicanos in 1991, and the other in Zacamil in 1995.
In 1994, the School Reinforcement program was launched, where children could go in the afternoon to receive educational support and to be able to do their homework in a suitable environment. Once this stage was fully underway, another was created in 2006 for the boys and girls who wanted to continue studying but did not have the resources to do so. This led to the beginning of the Secondary Education and University Scholarship program.
Since the beginning of CINDE, the necessity to work with the mothers and fathers to reduce the levels of interfamilial violence became apparent. This led to the creation of the Shaping the Future program. At the same time, CINDE launched a series of programs aimed at improving the lives of female street vendors. These included artisanal workshops, solidarity banks and micro-lending, support groups and many other alternatives, now known as Mujeres Empoderadas (Empowered Women).
Given the diversity of the programs that were being carried out, CINDE decided to legally separate itself from Fe y Alegría (Faith and Happiness) on November 20 2003. From that point Asociación CINDE was legally constituted as a non-profit that combined the aforementioned components.
To promote a well-rounded education to children and young people from marginalized social sectors, providing them with appropriate stimulation for their age, educational programs and training with human values that lay firm foundations for their lives.
To offer adults the opportunity to value their roles as mothers/fathers. This is done through a series of actions aimed at strengthening their self-esteem, acquiring knowledge that helps them to correctly play their role as counselors and motivating their conscious participation in social processes that benefit childhood.
To be an educational entity, which is innovative and committed to social change, that supports and promotes processes of development among the excluded social sectors, and is a reference for policies of integral attention to children and adolescents of those sectors.