LOVE & HELP CHILDREN—THAT’S HER WAY
“There is a lack of attention on children. Parents are working and children are abandoned. Crime is increasing because children are following the drug dealers. They want money and are looking for any way to get out of their lives,” says Cordero.
She sees two opportunities to steer a child’s life to one of happiness: instill them early with the precepts of The Way to Happiness, or, pick them up where they have fallen down and rehabilitate them.
“This little book is so easy and it is so powerful that just applying it in your life will change you forever,” she says.
Toward the goal of steering a child to live a happy life, Cordero and her nonprofit, Social Development and Recovery of Values, are working to reach every schoolchild in Mexico before they can turn to drugs or crime.
Over the past 17 years, they have delivered workshops in 1,835 schools, reaching several million directly. As one example of how this can go, Cordero’s group is part of a unique collaborative workshop. Presenters from organizations as diverse as Alcoholics Anonymous and the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico visit elementary schools and take over the day. Every student attends eight hours of workshops, a full hour of which is on The Way to Happiness. Children are dissuaded from crime and drugs and instilled with the 21 precepts. In nine years, they have visited 621 schools, reaching over 439,848 children.
It is not uncommon for a child to come to Cordero, crying, “What can I do because my parents hit me? And I love them.” As many are still learning to read, she sends them home with The Way to Happiness and has them ask their parents to read aloud with them the chapter “Love and Help Children.” Reconciliation is inevitable.
The program has since moved to high schools. And when Cordero teaches a class, sometimes up to half the youth exclaim, “Hey! I remember you with the little book!”—having met her three years before in elementary school.
But thousands of youth are not so lucky and end up in prison. For them, there is still a way.
Cordero and team were invited by the Public Security Minister of Mexico to set up programs in six youth detention centers. Over three years, they reached thousands of juvenile offenders, teaching them the 21 precepts, such as, “Take Care of Yourself,” “Do Not Steal” and “Be Worthy of Trust.”
But the one precept that most impacts them is “Be Competent.”
“This little book is so easy and it is so powerful that just applying it in your life will change you forever.”
“They are looking at how they are going to face life when they are out of jail,” says Cordero, pointing out that many resorted to crime only after failing at honest work. However, after delivering the program, Cordero observed, “There was a reduction of crime and violence in the jails.”
When released, these former offenders will have the moral compass they lacked and so fare far better this time. “I’m happy because we can give awareness to people and help children have solutions in their lives.”
And Cordero isn’t neglecting higher education. She has a request to deliver workshops to 34 colleges and all 50,000 students enrolled. Who knows, maybe some of these young adults will raise their hands and say, “Hey! I remember you with the little book!”—an enduring expression of just how many lives Rosalba Cordero has touched with The Way to Happiness.
The Way to Happiness Foundation International works to reverse the moral decay of society by restoring trust and honesty through widespread distribution of the 21 precepts. Donations support production and distribution of The Way to Happiness booklet and curriculum material.