Feb 11, 2019

2019: An Exciting Year Awaits!

3rd and 4th groups receiving high school diplomas
3rd and 4th groups receiving high school diplomas

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our two homes within the communities of Felipillo & Santa Ana.

In December we were proud to graduate our fourth group of teenage mothers who, after 18 months, successfully got to the finish line of our program. “Months ago, with a cluster of fears under our arms, we arrived at the Las Claras Program, with curious looks we observed every corner of this Center [...] but fortunately now we understand that only study and perseverance are the key to open the doors of tomorrow. I only want to tell the girls of the next generations, that we are our own destiny. Only we should ask ourselves what we want to make of our lives, and continue each day without stopping to fight and set goals for ourselves.”, stated Esmeralda Saavedra, in her speech as class valedictorian.

Currently, our groups in the Felipillo and Santa Ana communities have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus. We ended the year with smiles and hugs, preparing for a 2019 full of challenges and goals to accomplish.

Starting the year, we celebrated the first encounter between graduates from the Las Claras Program. Amongst many laughs, anecdotes and new stories to tell, we introduced the girls to new staff, as well as a big new initiative focused on them: with the intention of continuing their learning and personal progress, this new phase would allow them to meet with selected staff in order to continue therapy sessions and support group sessions, so that they get a space to talk about obstacles they currently face at the work place or in their process of job search. At the same time, added to this therapeutic aspect, we are working on coordinating different workshops in which they will be learning more about Excel, English Language, Etiquette and Protocol, Projection and Self-esteem, Security in Social Networks, and Personal Finance.

We have created this initiative as a safe and voluntary space for our graduates, which they can rely on to develop and reinforce knowledge while at the same time giving feedback and reccommendations so that it evolves alonside them. 

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), almost all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re working nonstop and giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

our graduates listen and exchange memories
our graduates listen and exchange memories
our graduates were thrilled to meet everyone again
our graduates were thrilled to meet everyone again
graduates at the encounter!
graduates at the encounter!
Jan 31, 2019

The Summer Program is Fast Approaching!

Dear Donor,

It has been nearly three months since you started supporting our fundraising campaign “SummerProgram: Inspiring & Keeping Girls In School” on GlobalGiving.com.

During these past few months, we’ve been getting ready for our second edition of the summer program: recruiting girls in the community, preparing our own Las Claras students to involve themselves as leaders, and working out the logistics that are needed for it to be even more successful than our first edition.

Your engagement allows us to dream about the future and for what it could be. Especially that of every girl in Panama that lives in poverty, and who needs support and someone to believe in her so that she starts believing and canceling all the negative stimuli surrounding her 24/7. 

Nevertheless, we’re still ways away from our campaign goal, and will continue to ask for your support and those you know so that we can reach as many girls as possible. Not only to prevent school dropouts, but also to inspire, empower and raise awareness in terms of self-care and self-defense, warning signs leading to violence, early pregnancy, etc.

Through this program we’re giving them a chance to break out of poverty and early pregnancy cycles that are way too common in this area. We’re also giving them the opportunity to ask themselves (probably for the first time) what they want to achieve in their future, and (also probably for the first time) to believe in themselves and in the potential that education, hard work and discipline will give them in order to achieve their goals.

We thank you again for your continuous support, and would appreciate if you could share our campaign and our goals to others around you who might be interested in helping our cause.

 

Kind Regards,

Nov 13, 2018

Our Third Group of Teen Mothers Has Graduated!

Graduation Ceremony for Third Class of Las Claras
Graduation Ceremony for Third Class of Las Claras

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our home in Felipillo.

In september we were proud to graduate our third group of teenage mothers who, after 18 months, successfully got to the finish line of our program. With the presence of our benefactors, donors, and helping friends, the graduation was full of emotional moments, scholarships for the best students, and even a surprise job placement for one of our students. “Getting to this moment has not been easy. It has required a lot of effort and dedication, but above all to have the motivation to do it. Today I not only believe in myself, but I’ve found the strength, hope and support system to fight for my own future and that of my baby.”, stated Wendy Ocampo, in her speech as class valedictorian.

Currently, our groups in the Felipillo and Santa Ana communities have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus. Furthermore, during September, our own staff at the two centers received workshops on warning signs of emotional wear and self-care, receiving tools to maintain a balance while providing care to populations at social risk. 

Last but not least, we have another graduation getting near! Our fourth group of teen moms have started with their professional internships through our initiative Mi Primer Salario (“My First Salary”) as an alliance with different private companies. Through this program, our teen mothers have the opportunity to do a professional internship with distinguished companies. Their efforts have paid off, and they have demonstrated their capacity to work for these following enterprises: Grupo Melo, Alcogal, Prival, Ecocaribe, Grupo Arrocha, Arvec, Varela Hermanos, Canal de Panamá, Monte Azul, Coronado Es Vida, Reprico, Dentons, Servicios Contables Pineda, CEINSA Constructora, y Natuviva.

 

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

Fourth Group of Las Claras begin with internships
Fourth Group of Las Claras begin with internships
1st Class in Santa Ana community continue wclasses
1st Class in Santa Ana community continue wclasses
 
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