Can Your Project Become a Possibility with 100 Thousand Pesos?
By Jesús Aguado
The foreign community is attended, guided, channeled, and linked, not just with the governmental offices in town, but also with the nonprofit organizations.
The Liaison Department with Nongovernmental Organizations and Attention to the Foreign Community continues to work. Besides its collaboration with the Secretary of Public Safety to prevent crime, it has also launched a call for one million pesos to help ten social projects.
The directorship was created at the beginning of Luz María Núñez’s administration in 2009. Mayor Núñez said hers was a citizens´ government, and one of the goals was “working with the organized citizens that help those in need.” Previously Núñez commented to Atención that the intention was to work together and have a larger impact on the society. Since then, the residents of the rural and urban areas have benefited, but nonprofit organizations have not.
At the beginning of that administration, the directorship grew, and it now includes an area offering free services for the expat community. That is how a team made up of six bilingual people makes more projects possible for Sanmiguelenses and more information for visitors and residents from other countries. In an interview for this newspaper, Director Teri Kavanagh said, “I love what we do. We have had a very good response from the association, and they are working together in workshops that we offer for them.” The director said that the workshops are very expensive, but the government is offering them for free. There are actually members of civil organizations from other municipalities taking advantage of them. “We cannot deny them the service,” she said. The workshops are held once a month and they cover how to get federal and state financial resources for social projects, how to deal with the Secretary of Finances, and how to administer internal resources of the organizations, among others.
It has been said that San Miguel is the city in this state with the highest number of nonprofit organizations (150). However, the director says that “registered under this directorship, that is to say those that have their CLIE and CLUNI (state and federal registration as nonprofit organizations) keys and that also issue tax deduction receipts, there are just 98,” and she remarked, “That does not mean that the others do not exist; simply they have not come to the department.”
Under this direction, the organizations have all the support and, in addition, they are linked with the local, federal, and state offices. All the permits for organizing events for the population are granted. The organizations are also linked among themselves, so they can have more success sharing their projects and facilities. “The intention has never been to tell them what to do and where to do it. They are the specialists, and if they have detected a need in an area, that is because they have conducted an investigation. Here, we help them to work together and make more with less,” said Fernanda Esparza, in charge of the liaison area.
Prevention and Attention to the Foreign Community
Iliana García is also a member of this directorship. Proudly she said that she is working with the prevention area of the Secretariat of Public Safety. Through this relationship, it was possible to organize soccer games between rival gangs in colonia San Rafael. Those “enemies” were also invited to enjoy the screening—in the neighborhood—of the movie Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices), based on the life of Óscar Torres during El Salvador’s civil war. The writer and director of the movie (Torres) presented the film and gave a speech to the teenagers. García commented that the message is amazing because now these teenagers realize that their childhood has not been stolen as Óscar’s was; they realize that they have every chance to succeed and be happy instead of being linked to crime or addiction. This program will be taken to several colonias, including Cuevitas, Allende, and San Luis Rey.
Eduardo Sautto is the department’s attorney, and he is in charge of helping the foreign community. He commented that many people from other countries who come to the department are not Spanish speakers, and do not even know how to perform a simple procedure like paying the property tax. Cases range from a forgotten purse in the Jardín Principal to problems between neighbors. “I do give integral advice to those who need it and don’t just help them to know which local office they need to go to, but also federal and state offices. Not all their problems have to do with law, but I help them as best I can,” said Sautto.
In June, the Week of Prevention organized by the Traffic Department will be held and the Liaison Directorship will help with the distribution of brochures with basic legal information about traffic, including the new parking arrangements in the historic center.
Teri Kavanagh highlighted that this is the first time that the local administration will publish a call for one million pesos for ten projects of 100 thousand pesos each.
Fernanda Esparza said in addition that the call is open until June 3 this year and it, as well as the forms to fill out, can be downloaded from the avisos section on the local government’s webpage. All the information has also been sent to the civil organizations. The results with the ten winning projects will be published 60 days from June, 3. The committee for determining the winners is made up of Mayor Ricardo Villarreal; president of the Department for Family Integration, Emilia Vega; the treasurer; and two city councilors.
The published call states that the general goal is “impelling the integral, social, and self-sustainable development of the communities though processes of training, accompaniment, and monitoring that will help them to define and strengthen their community agenda.” The projects should be submitted at Plaza Principal 4, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am–4pm, and should be focused on improving health, education, and nutrition to improve the life of the vulnerable communities.
Workshop with the Red Cross
On Monday, May 30, from 10am–12pm, Leticia Fernández, president of the Red Cross, will offer a workshop on the rights and duties that expats have with nonprofit organizations. Kavanagh said that Fernández also will talk about how the community can help the Red Cross “because it is a Mexican organization, and we all need it.” The workshop will take place at the auditorium of the old city hall building on Plaza Principal 4.