New Life Mexico (NLM) is a registered UK charity (number 1104138) supporting vulnerable children and young people in Mexico through social, health and education programmes.
Philippa Vernon-Powell, NLM’s Field Director, came to Puerto Vallarta in 2002 on a year’s sabbatical from the corporate world where she had spent the previous ten years working for multinational companies on an international basis as a management consultant specialising in crisis management.
Philippa originally went to Vallarta specifically to work as a volunteer with street children for one year. At the time the social services street kid centre where Philippa worked was extremely basic and had little to no equipment. Many of the boys at the centre were unable to attend mainstream school due to a lack of funding to pay for the required uniforms, books and other necessary equipment. Philippa made a personal commitment to pay for the schooling of four boys and working with social services she was able to secure all four children a place in school. When the time came for her to leave Vallarta and return to England one boy said to her “so now you are telling me I don’t have a future”. This had a profound impact on Philippa as she was only too aware of the lack of resources available to social services and the implications of this on children in desperate need of support. As is often the case with government social services, the demands far outweighed the budget available. In England Philippa raised enough money to refurbish the centre and returned to Mexico where she now lives and works as the Field Director of NLM.
From 2004 to 2010, NLM supported children who had been physically, sexually or emotionally abused with a specific focus on their health and education needs. In addition to pastoral care NLM worked on a daily basis with the following Child Protection Service programmes (i) ESCI (Child Sexual Exploitation) (ii) Albergue Vida Nueva (New Life Street Kid Shelter), (iii) Red Juvenil (Kids at Risk), (iv) PROPADETIUM (Working Kids), (v) Prevencion y Atencion Integral del Embarazo en Adolecentes (PAIDEA – Pregnant Teenage Program), (vi) Programa 10-14 (Primary School Education for Kids aged 10-14), (vii) PAFIC (Children with parents in prison).
Since January 2011 NLM has worked in the community in partnership with the Delegado Pitillal (see Programmes). With nearly ten years experience of working with Street Children and Child Protection Services, NLM feels that by providing “Community Kids Clubs” and Health and Education Programmes it now makes a significant impact in the community where the children it supports work and live.
NLM is a very small grass-root charity with only two employees. NLM Educators and Health Workers are contracted for specific programmes.