Jun 15, 2012

Meet CAPTA Student: Carmela

Carmela
Carmela

“Now I understand what it means to give yourself an opportunity, and that’s what I’m doing here.”

Carmela is 28 years old and lives in Santa Ana, one of the most dangerous communities in Panama City with high poverty levels; she has four children.

Although CAPTA caters to many women with different backgrounds and education levels, Carmela was a perfect candidate for CAPTA.  She is a woman who has suffered through many difficulties in her life; she had been working in bars since she was 10; and at the age of 15, her best friend was infected with HIV.  Mentally, this was a turning point for Carmela. “I was afraid and I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me; I had to find a way to get out of this business.” Carmela then left the bar and started working as a waitress in a night-club.

Unfortunately, things did not get better; from this point on, she met men who would only mistreat her and she was still forced to work countless hours, engaged in dangerous activities to feed her children.

After persuasion from her siblings and another NGO in her community; she decided to get help. She was referred to Fundacion Calicanto because the CAPTA program could provide the psychological support and the life skills she needed to find employment.

“The first couple of days, I didn’t want to stay; I thought about leaving several times but each day of class taught me something new and it was all so different from what I used to.  Nefthaly (program coordinator) motivated me because he was always so happy; Dr. Celia (conflict management teacher) taught me how to stop screaming and hitting, she taught me to talk out my problems; Jaime (theater teacher) taught me how to express myself; I have changed a lot in the last three weeks and I feel better about myself.”  

“I go home and tell my kids what I learn every day, sometimes they laugh when I try to speak English, but then they start practicing with me too,” Carmela said while giggling.

Carmela graduates in another 3 weeks; her goals are to find a job, study, and to own a home where her children can feel free to play.

We will update you on her status after she graduates and finds employment.

May 25, 2012

Video: ENLACES Kids Work on their Swing Movement

Reyes Gallardo
Reyes Gallardo

The ENLACES program has been teaching contemporary dance to at social-risk children for almost two years.

The progress we’ve seen has been amazing; not only in their technique, but also in their ability to create movement phrases.  When they started they had never taken Dance classes before, but from day one, we saw an incredible potential in each one of them.

Our dance classes usually start with a warm up exercise, followed by several technique exercises; and then a combination of movements.  We close with a short session of improvisation, where the kids get to create their own movements based on different instructions or rules.

This video replays one of the technique exercises we worked on last week to improve the kid’s swing movement and also movement with placed weight in their hands.

Check it out!

Links:

Apr 12, 2012

English and Computer Clubs Take Off!!

English class
English class

Two of the clubs that make up our CONEXION program took off this year with excellent results!

Fifteen women joined the English club in March, every Tuesday from 5 – 7 pm they receive formal English lessons but also get to know each other a little better and share experiences about the new jobs they hold as housekeepers.

In March, the three volunteers who teach English agreed to host a small celebration for the International Women’s day, the girls celebrated with snacks and light music.

The Computer Club, started with 8 students and 4 volunteers who meet every Thursday from 5 – 7 pm. Three of the volunteers are Hewlett-Packard employees in Panama and they ensure that our girls learn basic computer operation.

The classes have been divided into the following modules:

Introduction to computers: hardware and software

Windows and Internet Explorer

Creating E-mail Accounts

Social Media

Introduction to Microsoft Word

Thanks to all our donors and loyal volunteers local women from San Felipe are receiving training that helps them grow personally and professionally.

Thank you and keep in touch for information on upcoming courses!

 
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