Victor Palliaroli

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Fellow Since 1994


This profile was prepared when Victor Palliaroli was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
Among the children who work on the streets of Mexico's burgeoning cities, it was Víctor Hugo Palliaroli who began to address the developmental consequences of poverty. In addition to the economic hardships which force them to work in order to survive while other children are in school, Víctor focused on the social starvation which grows out of their living conditions. His commitment to help them become creative and positive social beings reflects his concept of citizenship: that a boy or girl cannot grow up to function as a participating member of a democratic society without being able to understand his or her situation and take part actively in solving its problems. As he says, his goal was "to produce an active social subject in every child we work with."
Set within a health-oriented citizens' organization, Víctor's approach to helping urban working kids is distinctive because of his orientation to the core issue of nurturing personalities and the methodology he created to do that. Unlike government programs that concentrate on job training or literacy, Víctor developed an integrated model that attends not only to the basic material needs of the children but includes their emotional, psychological and social spheres as well. Into every activity, whatever its focus–work, culture, sports–Víctor builds individual psychological oversight for each child.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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