Programa Pro Niños Incapacitados del Lago A.C. is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides counseling and financial help to poor Mexican families in the Lake Chapala area of Jalisco who have children with serious disabilities or life threatening illnesses.
It began in 1974 as an effort to help one family and now grown to support about 160 children who live in and around the lakeside communities of Ajijic, Chapala and Jocotepec. In 2016 Niños Incapacitados distributed 2,170,000 Mexican pesos ($154,000 CDN) to those children’s families.
“Amistad Canada is excited to be launching a new project partnership in the Lake Chapala region,” says president Charles Novogrodsky of Amistad’s first partnership outside of San Miguel de Allende, “Niños Incapacitados has a sterling community reputation. This project advances our work to build civil society relationships between Canada and Mexico.”
Niños Incapacitados operates regular ‘clinics’ in all three communities. Volunteer coordinators provide counselling and verify that families qualify for reimbursement of costs directly related to their child’s medical, diagnostic and medication needs. Amounts range from just a few pesos to cover bus fare, to hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for specialized medical equipment or pharmaceuticals.
The organization spends 96% of the money it raises on client services. The remaining 4% is used for administration, particularly rigorous financial controls.