IPODERAC (Instituto Poblano de Readaptación, A.C.) is an organization located in Atlixco, Mexico that has been working with youth since 1966. The mission of IPODERAC is:
Ensuring help for homeless and abandoned boys by supporting institutions and organizations with a similar mission to reduce the amount of boys in this situation and promote self-sustainability so that together, we can create a better future.
IPODERAC houses 72 boys and 36 girls. The boys' and girls' centers work to ensure the education and protection of children and youth who are homeless, abandoned and/or vulnerable and helps them become self-sufficient individuals.
IPODERAC accomplishes this by following a comprehensive educative model that focuses on the importance of development of children in the areas of health, social interaction, human development, education, and training for work.
The six houses on the grounds of each campus are the heart of IPODERAC and the haven and gathering place for the youth who live there. Each houses up to twelve boys or girls, an educator, and two volunteers. In their houses the youth are allowed to grow, feel secure, and nurture relationships.
All of the youth at IPODERAC attend school. School is an important social space where they can interact with young people of different ages and socioeconomic statuses. IPODERAC staff work with the boys and girls to help them generate tools so they can learn from and cope with their experiences, including family dynamics, circumstances that led them to IPODERAC, frustration, sexuality, violence, self-acceptance, relationships with others, etc.
By participating in a work training program within IPODERAC, the youth learn the importance of teamwork, quality work, solidarity, and stewardship. They are able to explore their interests and learn vocational and life skills through individual work and development workshops. The boys and girls are able to choose a trade or profession, plan steps to develop the necessary skills, and gain the appropriate education for their chosen profession. In taking these steps while they living at the center they have the support of adults who will guide their efforts in achieving their goals and thus preparing them for their independent life once they leave IPODERAC.
Over the years, IPODERAC has helped raise and support more than 1,000 youth. Their hands-on approach has been recognized by the Mexican government, private foundations, and individuals from around the globe. Additionally, approximately 50% of IPODERAC's operational costs are met through on-site production* of goat's milk cheese, goat's milk soap, and furniture.
*Funds generated are profits from products produced on-site by employees.