Gerardo Sauri Suárez

Ashoka Fellow

Citation

This profile was prepared when Gerardo Sauri Suárez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
With deep respect for children's ability to decide and act for themselves, Gerardo and the organization he created (Education with Street Children) EDNICA seek to give street children a better life now and a more constructive future. His approach works through family, community, and -- the children. Since he can reach only very few children directly, he and his colleagues are trying to develop an effective yet economic approach that communities across Mexico will be able to adopt. That is another important reason for its heavy reliance on the children and their families and communities.
Gerardo's approach to children already committed to the streets begins with a trust building process of getting to know a peer group cluster. EDNICA has spotted and leads on to trips, games, and basic services.  Ultimately, taking direction from the children, Gerardo's team creates innovative workshops, with the children's decisions and input, to train them in attractive fields such as radio, video, photography, journalism, printing, graphic arts, and theater.  These technical skills can, in the long run, lead to self-sufficient and self-managed micro-industries.
Gerardo also works with parents on the preventative level. He attempts to reestablish a positive relationship and link between the home and the child by working with everyone in the family. With each family he reaches, he reduces the risk of other children turning to the streets. Furthermore, Gerardo's program works at a community level, e.g. through teacher training workshops in high-risk urban areas. These workshops provide teachers with the tools they need to detect potential street children.  Such detection allows EDNICA to intervene and modify the situation, before the child takes to the street.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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