The Resource Foundation

Mexican Institute of Family and Population Research (IMIFAP)

IMIFAP (Yo Quiero Yo Puedo) is a Mexican non-governmental organization with almost 40 years of experience working with populations in contexts of economic and social vulnerability. With the mission of releasing individual potential for social development, IMIFAP works in the areas of education, health, citizenship, and productivity, facilitating people’s intrinsic empowerment, so that they improve attitudes and behaviors around their well-being and become agents of change of their own lives, families, and communities. Since its foundation and with the support of over 400 national and international public and private institutions, IMIFAP has helped increase the wellbeing of over 22 million individuals in Mexico and other 16 countries. IMIFAP has received over a dozen prizes; most recently it was awarded with the Juscelino Kubitschek Prize given by the Interamerican Development Bank (IADB) for the Best Social Development Program in the Americas, and with the Mentor Foundation Prize given by Queen Silvia of Sweden for the Best Program in Prevention of Addictions and School Desertion. It has been certified by Filantrofilia in the highest classification of NGO’s in Mexico. Since 2019 is a member of the Girls Not Brides International Network, and since 2022 participates in Girls Opportunity Alliance Network, and initiative of Obama Foundation.

In Mexico, 4 out of every adolescent, between 12 and 17 years old, are or have been in a conjugal union. In the state of Guerrero, this practice has historical roots based on some uses and customs of the indigenous communities and currently shows one of the highest rate in the country, which occur mostly through the sale of girls and adolescents to adult men. Through the program “Help them to not reach the altar”, implemented from 2017 to date, IMIFAP has achieved that 12 localities in Metlatónoc, Guerrero, one of the poorest municipalities in Mexico, have put an end to the sale of girls for marriage, through the signing of Acts of Agreement by the local authorities. This means that 7,000 girls and adolescents, between 10 and 17 years old, will not be sold into marriage by their parents and will be able to choose a life project based on their rights. This has been achieved through the following strategies: 

  1. Sensitization of inhabitants; 
  2. Mobilization of the Community Assemblies, to achieve the signing of the Act of Agreement for the prohibition of the sale of girls and women for marriage or union; 
  3. Strengthening the capacities of teachers of primary and secondary school in terms of the rights of children and adolescents, violence prevention, and sexual and reproductive health; and (4) Psychoeducation of children and adolescents in primary and secondary school on the rights of children and adolescents, violence prevention, and sexual and reproductive health. The Region of La Montaña de Guerrero is made up of 19 municipalities, so IMIFAP needs support to eradicate the child marriage in the remaining 32 localities in the municipality of Metlatónoc, to expand the scope in the other municipalities of the region, and in other states of Mexico, mainly Oaxaca and Chiapas.
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