Medal for ‘Misión México’
On a recent visit to Mexico, His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove, awarded Alan and Pam Skuse, in-country project managers for Global Development Group project J731N ‘Mexican Children’s Development Project’, the Governor General’s Medal of Recognition for their service to the children of Mexico and Central America.
The presentation was made during an event celebrating 50 years of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Mexico, held at the Australian Embassy Residency of Ambassador, Doctor David Engel and Mrs Siriporn Nimmanop.
“It was a great honour to be asked to share a little of the history of ‘Mision Mexico’ and the programs that we have in place to help children reach their full potential,” Pam said.
From Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Pam and Alan have served the children of Mexico now for more than fifteen years. Project J731N helps children of all ages who have been abused, neglected, orphaned or abandoned. The project has three facets:
1) Education – Children of all ages with little or no education are given the opportunity, from primary through to university and apprenticeships.
2) Health and hygiene – the children are taught about its importance and regular medical and dental care is provided.
3) Life skills through surfing – disadvantaged children are introduced to surfing as a lifestyle.
The surf school/club complex is still currently under construction. It will include a surf-club, surf-school, lifeguard services, restaurant, retail outlet and surf repair workshop. Once complete, it will generate income for the project’s various programs. It will also provide vocational skills training and future employment for the children. The project also partners with the local community to work towards cleaner, safer, friendlier beaches to bring more business to the local impoverished area, which in turn, will reap economic benefits.
“It has been a long and laborious mission, but not without its rewards either. To see the children grow and develop and become fine, upstanding young people has been worth any hardship on our part. “
“This medal signifies the resilience of the children of Mexico and symbolizes their dreams and ours for the future… This work has not been a solitary occupation. The medal also acknowledges the support and sacrifices of many who have given their time and finances to support the work that we do,” Pam shared.
Pam and Alan were completely surprised to receive this award and are very grateful to His Excellency, Sir Peter Cosgrove and the Australian government for recognising their service.
For further information concerning project J731N ‘Mexican Children’s Development Project’: