Jun 29, 2011

The CAPTA May-June Course for 20 Panamanian Women Began!

CAPTA's First Day
CAPTA's First Day

On May 13th and because of generous donations, 13 women sponsored by GlobalGiving and the donations received during the April's Challenge and other 7 women sponsored by other friends of Fundacion Calicanto, began the CAPTA Course to change their lives and break out of poverty.  We are still receiving donations to complete our goal of 20 women sponsored by GlobalGiving, our next course begins on July 4th.

Alejandra, Amparo, Anastacia, Ariadna, Claudia, Dalila, Esthele, Gladys M, Gladys L, Janet, Katia, Kilmara, Kristel, Miriam, Silvia, Theila, Vielka, Virginia, Xiomara and Zoraya, were welcomed by Calicanto’s team and received their scholarship certificates.  

All of this happened after weeks of recruiting, and choosing the students by interviews with our psychologists and instructors.  The women were selected through personal interviews by the program psychologists primarily designed to gauge willingness to change.  At the opening ceremony each woman is given a uniform and a “scholarship certificate” which states the direct cost of the course ($1,000).  Included in the scholarship is a small stipend of $5 per week to cover transportation costs.  

Then, they were ready to begin the "Fundamental Cycle":  The group met five days per week for eight hours per day during four weeks.  Most of the time is spent in group sessions led by instructors, with weekly one-on-one meetings with the psychologist to address individual issues. The core personal development workshop sessions use role playing to teach communication skills, team work, resolution of interpersonal disputes and emotional intelligence. The life skills sessions teach health and hygiene, first aid, voice and diction and personal finance.  

By the time they enter the vocational training phase, they have formed a team, and we believe this mutual support is not only critical to their success in hotel school and in their new jobs, but is forming the foundation of an important community network. 

Women during Fundamental Cycle classes.
Women during Fundamental Cycle classes.
Team Building, Personal Development and Theater
Team Building, Personal Development and Theater
Writing CVs and Customer Service Lessons
Writing CVs and Customer Service Lessons
Jun 29, 2011

CAPTA May-June Graduation: what a magical moment!

CAPTA Graduates presenting their Goals and Dreams
CAPTA Graduates presenting their Goals and Dreams

On Monday June 27th the CAPTA May-June Group graduated in a beautiful ceremony at the Holiday Inn Hotel where the Panama International Hotel School is located.

It was a very special act, that began with each graduate presenting to the public her goals for the next five years.  To see this women focused, full of hope, and wishing to work hard to achieve their dreams was the best reward for every member of Fundacion Calicanto's team and all their instructors and teachers.

They also presented a socio-drama, in which they shared with the public their realities at home, and what it takes them to be able to commit and enroll in the CAPTA course.

Xiomara Gonzalez, spoke in behalf of all the students, and thanked Fundacion Calicanto's donors and friends for their support and for believing in them.

Each participant received two certificates: one for the Fundamental Cycle and the other for the Vocational Training, which were presented by Hildegard Vasquez, Fundacion Calicanto's Executive President and Roberto Jean Francois and Johnny Luna representing the Hotel School.

CAPTA Graduates proud of their achievement!
CAPTA Graduates proud of their achievement!
Xiomara Gonzalez gives a speech full of gratitude.
Xiomara Gonzalez gives a speech full of gratitude.
CAPTA students during the graduation act.
CAPTA students during the graduation act.
Receiving the certificates.
Receiving the certificates.
CAPTA Graduates with relatives & Calicanto's staff
CAPTA Graduates with relatives & Calicanto's staff

Links:

Jun 29, 2011

CAPTA Course May-June: The Vocational Training Phase.

The Vocational Training
The Vocational Training

The vocational training phase takes place at the Panama International Hotel School, which is a high-quality private facility that trains all levels of hotel staff, from housekeepers to managers, but typically would not accept women with the backgrounds of the CAPTA women under normal circumstances: There is an often unspoken belief among service-industry employers that certain segments of our society, most particularly the urban poor, are not prepared to handle responsibility and therefore the best practice is to avoid hiring from those segments. 

What we have found is that the success of CAPTA’s graduates at the Panama International Hotel School and with employers has begun to challenge that assumption in our community. 

During the vocational training phase, the women enrolled a special intensive course design for the CAPTA Program, to provide the women with the knowledge and training they need to become waitress and housekeeping assistant.  They not only just went to classes from 8am to 4 pm every day for two weeks, but also were committed for a third week of full practice at the hotels of the Bern Group in Panama.

Learning how to set a table at a Hotel Event
Learning how to set a table at a Hotel Event
Women learning and practicing.
Women learning and practicing.
 
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