Fundación Corazón de Niña
The content on this page originates from an interview of Melissa Canez by Peter Bruce in 2014.
Melissa, can you tell us what it costs to make this all happen each month?
For security reasons I am not willing to divulge dollar figures publicly. However, I can say this. Compared to developed countries like the United States and Canada, the cost of supporting these children and youth is extremely reasonable. A government-funded facility of this size would have three shifts of salaried employees and a phalanx of support services on tap. Such a resource might well have 8 daytime staff, and 3 each for the evening and night shifts for a total of 14 staff.If the average salary was $60000 that’s $840000 in salaries alone. In other words, Corazón de NIña would most certainly be a million dollar operation. I can tell you we are not remotely close to that figure.
Yet even comparing our costs to similar resources in Mexico, resources in which the children do not receive the therapeutic supports which our children and youth receive, my guess is that our costs are on the very low end. Why? We are essentially a volunteer organization. I doubt there is another residential resource in all of Mexico with our level of cost-effectiveness.
How much would it take to provide a reasonable level of comfort and security for you and the children and in addition, provide you, Juan and your staff with a fitting wage?
We would have to more clearly define “reasonable level of comfort” given the country and neighborhood we live in but for the purposes of this discussion… to cover all basic costs including staffing to reflect our numbers, education, transportation and to begin to create at least a one-month contingency fund… with our current 38 children (February 2015) we would need approximately $28,000US per month.
I know you have made this all happen on a wing and a prayer but just give us an idea of just how dire the situation really is?
The most difficult period was the first eighteen months. Corazón was still a two bedroom house in which we had to find room for thirteen girls. There was no government funding (there still isn’t) and we didn’t have the base of supporters we now have to provide the basics. It was truly a hand-to-mouth existence. Some weeks, we had no idea where we’d find the money for food. This is when we discovered the power of group prayer… angels would appear at the door bearing gifts…
We remind ourselves that we are not even three years old. Considering what has been accomplished in that time, I feel very good about our circumstances and I have complete confidence that this early phase of day-to-day struggle will pass. Sooner, of course, is better than later.
Do you see a way to get beyond your current financial reality at Fundación Corazón de Niña. It would seem that government support is unlikely. Is there a way to secure a stable and ample income that would allow you to enrich and grow your service to children?
On the matter of government support, now that we are officially a foundation (August, 2015), we are eligible to compete for Federal Funding for specific projects such as expansion, technology, appliances, beds, etc. Unfortunately, this has not helped us in our first years – when the need has been greatest. Nevertheless, we will be prepared to take advantage of whatever funds we do qualify for that will help us to build upon what we have already achieved.
Typical Annual Expenses By Type
- Administration 4%
- Clothing 1%
- Education 13%
- Facility 19%
- Food 30%
- Professional Services 8%
- Transportation 2%
Rollsof Toilet Paper Consumed Per Month
Sanitary Napkins Consumed Per Month
Love Integrity Family Education