Agents of Change alongside the French Ambassador
To create greater awareness about the prevention of gender violence, Fundacion Calicanto in collaboration with the French Embassy in Panama carried out a training program for local women.
Within the framework of prevention and education on gender violence, Fundacion Calicanto graduated 15 women selected from the CAPTA Program (Training for Work) to be part of the project 'Agents of Change for the Prevention of Gender Violence', created to train and educate women to make social and behavioral changes on other women, men and adolescents in their communities.
As a result of the project, the 15 women selected received their official certifications last December on behalf of Fundacion Calicanto and the French Embassy in Panama, as they were able to impact more than 200 adolescents with the realization of awareness workshops on equity and equal rights, so that each one could acquire the tools and the necessary knowledge to improve their personal and professional development. In addition, the training of the adolescents included workshops on the application of equal rights and the prevention of gender violence.
The women selected are already part of the foundation's internal network, because they had initially complied with the CAPTA Program, that introduces them to psychosocial and personal entrepreneurship development components, which according to the president of the foundation: “The program allows women get and keep a formal job, since we cannot speak of empowered women if they are not able to acquire their own resources.”
Regarding the leadership of the "Agents of Change", the president emphasized that they describe themselves as women who "know what their communities need" and have the knowledge and tools necessary to "impact the inhabitants in favor of a possible positive change.”
From the agents perspective
According to statistics from the Panamanian Observatory against Gender Violence, from 2014 to July 2021 there have been more than 130 thousand 760 complaints of domestic violence, 89 thousand 271 (68.27%) in the First Judicial District, formed by the provinces of Panama, Colón, Darién and the Guna Yala region. While in October 2021 there were 17 femicides, 12 attempted femicides and 16 violent deaths of women, according to an official report of the Attorney General's Office (PGN).
Knowing this aspect of the Panamanian reality resonated with Eldemira, an agent of change who graduated from the program and has a degree in social work, who pointed out the importance of maintaining and increasing the support for projects that seek "better training for women."
"I am motivated by the program because it is an open door to provide information to people, in order to stop the increase in violence, and to expand the message that people should not remain only victims, but transform themselves," she said.
On the other hand, the agent Ana pointed out that "it is not necessary to have suffered from violence to be able to help others who have," and emphasized the high receptivity of young people. "We were able to help many young people because they too are interested, they just need someone who is willing to explain and teach them about how to prevent violence in their contexts."
Ana, Genesis and Eldemira celebrate the program
Margarita sharing her story
Agents celebrate the program's success