The Directors Council of the Community Foundation of Matamoros, in its quest to meet its mission in a pertinent and opportune manner, ran a diagnostic study to investigate the reality of the strengths and weaknesses of the community .This was done in order to better attend to the most urgent necessities of the different social groups, in particular those who are most unprotected socially and economically.
Under this premise a document was formed which consists of 46 pages including annexes. Included are the following sections: presentation, point of reference, methodology, assets, and social investors, needs of the social assets, socioeconomic context, detection of problems that are not attended to, and challenges and opportunities.
For those who are interested in the subject, he version that we see here is an executive summary. Also available for consultation is the original work along with the most recent updates.
It is worth mentioning that the investigation broke with the concept of strictu sensu mapping, which consists in localizing on a map the strengths which their activities fulfil to support the community, generally civil society, not associated with government action. With this end in mind, we gave it a much wider concept in order to obtain a diagnostic in which the actors, their nature, type, beneficiaries, necessities to operate the administration, to offer service, in short, information which permits us to know its operation.
It is important to add that the document is a dynamic work which must be updated periodically to encompass the changes which take place among the assets and the investors, as well as the relationship between these two and the community, and detecting the civil associations which integrate themselves into this universe of social compromise. In the same way, it is necessary to update and enrich the opportunity, the different sectors of the socioeconomic diagnostic which determine or influence the medium.
|There are five objectives we wish to meet:
||To have a mapping of the civil associations and institutions.
||To identify the areas of opportunity within the social assets to establish a financial strategy of support.
||To promote horizontal communication among the assets and social investors, individually and between both groups.
||To support the formalization and professionalization, as the case may be, of the civil associations and institutions.
||To detect areas of opportunity within the community and promote the constitution of ONG’s for their attention.
ASSETS AND SOCIAL INVESTORS
EIn many countries, particularly in those that have not reached or are far from reaching development, government action is not sufficient to meet all the necessities and problems of their society, which is why the community must organize itself to meet these needs.
This is the reality of our nation, and Tamaulipas and Matamoros as well. It is because of this that civil associations, as well as public and private organizations and institutions, have been constituted to deal with these issues. These social agents classify themselves in two large groups.
First, there are the social assets, which are those associations that realize their activities to attend to one or some specific local problems. For example, children with Down syndrome, homeless children, child abuse, battered wives, the lack of social security for people of all ages, IMSS or ISSSTE, environmental problems, etc. These groups fight to obtain resources to for their particular cause.
Secondly, there are the potential social investors, whose principal function is to attend to the problems and transactions of their associates or members, but who also take action to benefit the community by obtaining resources from third parties for their different causes. They also offer different types of services and are generally inclined towards social labour. Included in this group are those service organizations, self funded or third party funded, who fulfil projects for the community over an indefinite period of time. This group is comprised of businesses and/ or individuals.
In the first category, there are 52 organizations. Among these are included 5 casa hogares, 14 centers for the support of families, 7 rehabilitation centers, 9 medical centers and shelters, 1 organization dedicated to education, 6 dedicated to cultural issues, 3 environmental support groups, and 7 dedicated to community development in general.
In the second category we have identified 75 organizations which, with certain intensity and regularity, have attended to the most vulnerable groups. Among these are 8 service clubs, 19 managerial organizations, associations, chambers and committees; 16 educational institutions, 8 professional academies, 16 clinics and hospitals, and 8 banks.
It is worth mentioning that the average age of the social assets is 15 years, with associations such as Casa Hogar Salvation Army with 50 years of service, Casa Hogar El Refugio with 38 years, The Boy Scouts Association of Mexico with 37 years, Bread of Life Asylum for the Elderly with 28 years, and Casa Hogar for Matamoros Children with 20 years, being the oldest ones. Please see the drawing.
AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FCMAT
In general, the requirements that the civil associations and public organizations have manifested, have to do with, finishing and remodelling construction, maintenance, lighting, kitchen equipment, dining areas and equipment, dormitories, living areas, medical equipment, gymnasiums and workshops. We also need transportation vehicles, sports material and land for the construction of Centers of attention. It is worth mentioning that one of these is already functioning and is being aided by a Houston organization which has agreed to donate the resources for the construction of a new center with even greater capacity. But for this, it is necessary to first find the land.
Of the 52 social assets, 29 have solid information regarding their needs. 22 of these have remitted specific information regarding their financial needs, and another 7 are in the process of remitting it.
According to the information given so far, the sum amount needed is $31,169,054.50. Of this total, $3,181,149.50 is considered most necessary.
It is important to mention that all the assets have a lot of experience helping our citizens with obtaining and managing resources.
The FCMAT encourages development based on the community’s strengths, with the objective of integrating its talents, abilities, experiences, and resources of the beneficiaries in the construction of heir own development.
The medium in which the daily activities of the Matamoros community develops, reflects the physical and/or economic conditions it influences, may influence, and determines the level of quality of life.
In this way, the segments of the population with least resources show an almost complete lack of services and infrastructure, as well as problems of lack of employment, sub employment, and insufficient income, among other things. Social investors and the FCMAT have a great potential amount of work among this group.
In Matamoros, the challenges are drainage, obtaining potable water, setting up electricity, paving streets, health, education, living areas, ecology and the environment, green areas and open areas, and constructing sports installations, among other things. It is worth mentioning that the first four are not in the area of action of the civil society, but they are included because they determine the quality of life of the community.
On another note, even though the city still attracts many people due to the maquiladora job market, the level in this is not as elevated as a few years ago, and as the population continues to grow, results in unemployment and sub employment which has an impact on the quality of life of the different social groups.
The community also has relatively low salaries and a concentration of income in a reduced amount of people. Between 40% and 60% of Matamoros families live in poverty or precarious conditions.
An additional fact is that in the country, around 53% of the population lives in conditions of extreme poverty and Matamoros also faces this reality.
DETECTION OF PROBLEMATICS THAT LACK ATTENTION IN THE COMMUNITY
As has been previously mentioned, thanks to the solidarity and altruistic spirit of the civil society, different groups have been constituted to attend to a series of problems present in the community in various aspects of daily life.
However, even though the municipal, state, and federal authorities have given their best effort and substantial funds to offer infrastructure and urban equipment and public services and institutional support for the least protected social groups, segments of the population have been left behind due to the accelerated growth of the population. This is why there is still much to be done for the civil associations.
The issues mentioned in the previous paragraph must be taken into consideration, as well as the issues of housing, health, education, ecology, and the environment, recreation, sports, unemployment and low income for a large portion of the population.
The next step would be an investigation into the neighbourhoods of the workers, syndicates and other institutions to detect the problems that are present in these areas and that are not being attended to by the existing associations either because the workload is too great for these or simply because there is not yet any group formed to attend to the problem at hand.
It is in this manner that we hope to promote the formation of new social assets to focus attention on the problems that face our society.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
In Matamoros, the work that develops among the different social assets and social investors with the object to attend to the necessities and problems of the different groups with most economic and social needs to elevate their quality of life, is framed in a spirit of social responsibility, which transmits its philosophy and invites the community at large to become a part of this labour.
It is under this premise that the Community Foundation of Matamoros forms its mission, to assume the challenges and support the different social assets in their labour to benefit the community, for which it is necessary to maintain actualized the inventory of these social agents as well as the local investors and potentially national and foreign investors as well.
Therefore, to potentialize the labour of solidarity it is indispensable to support worthy civil associations, to formalize their legal constitution, and professionalize their daily work. It is also considered convenient to support horizontal communication within the assets and the investors and also between these two entities.
This opens up opportunities to strengthen the associations in their activities, and widens the universe of the assets and social investors to involve them more fully in their work, as well as increasing their attention to the community’s problems.
Finally, it is important to maintain among the beneficiaries and organizations a strategy of construction for the community from the inside out, considering the active participation of the talents, abilities, hopes, and resources of the beneficiaries and the rest of the internal strengths, which will permit the generation of a change of attitude, and therefore a cultural change, in which the subject of the benefit will be an active entity in the detection of its problems and the construction of its own development.