When we started introducing ourselves, there was 30 young faces looking at us, some with confusion, some with empty gaze, others with interest and hope. By the time we got to explaining what the organisation does, we saw more and more faces light up and in the end when we shared our goals they started to share their dreams...future psychologist, engineers, a singer, a nurse, designers, architects, etc. The ones that didn't know what they want, also had an expression of hope which gave us more motivation to start the program expansion.
18th of may we officially inaugurated our new chapter in the city Penonome, region Coclé which is located 2,5h from Panama CIty. This is our first “outside” the city orphanage. After an extent assessment center, interviews with the psychologist and the program coordinator, we have chosen 30 participants that will participante in our regular 2 year program and will be guided by our team of 4 people.
Our target is that 80% of the participants graduates from the full program and achieves a successful transition. So the question is what is a successful transition?
To sum up the experience of working with adolescentes from different environments, what we have concluded is that the base is the same: guidance, opportunity to know what is out there - their possibilities and a plan how to do it.
We are aware of the challenges that lye a head, such as learning how the institution works, distance from the main office, different culture, mindset, different opportunities…but as they say, we cannot be limited by our challenges but rather challenge our limits.