Fight Poverty: Educate Women in Panama

by Fundacion Calicanto
Vetted
Liz
Liz

Jassiel: Goal

CAPTA changed a lot of things in my life. It changed me a lot as a person and as well my character.

I had to change my character because I used to be very aggressive towards my family. I learned not to be anxious anymore while I speaking publicly. I’m not afraid of it anymore! Now, I can even speak in front of cameras.

 

Liz: Opportunity

It was a way of getting into the course and currently I am doing my internship in the hotel and it feels like it is an opportunity. Maybe I could start working from now on. It is still a new experience for me and it gives as well the chance to improve myself and to take advantage of the classes. The old Liz was disorganized but now I am less disorganized.

I met classmates who were more extroverted than me and it felt overwhelming. Now I speak more than I spoke before and its true, the new Liz is more serious and stops being too relax. But then again I matured a lot and I had a lot of positive changes. The new Liz hopes to continue learning and improving, I want to do the things I left behind, like pick up my studies again. I know that there is a better future and if I force myself a little bit more and if I keep on moving we’ll see how far I will get.

Shahaneth: Inspiration

The word that resumes my experience is inspiration. Why inspiration? Because I was a person who had no inspiration to do anything. To be honest, I never thought about what I want nor where I want to get and that’s why the engagement within CAPTA was a way to have dreams. It was like a tool and I told myself: This is the time!

I started noticing my goals when I started to think about what I want to reach and I started to inspire myself and I realized that I can go further and give more of me. Not just because I had my children or that I had to be at home and take care of them, I have to look after them and their future and because of all that I have to reach my goals, my dreams and I have to inspire myself and you have to notice that the things that are there, it doesn’t matter how challenging they could be, you have to fight to exhaust it! CAPTA was my stepping stone because if I wouldn’t had got to CAPTA I would be at home looking after my kids. I wanted to embrace the goals I have now – that I have a job, to have a better quality of life and to give this to my children. Not just the material things. I don’t want them to see their mother just as a housemaid if not it is a person who is taking care of them and who is not just sitting around and bringing the money home. I want to fight for what I need and what I want and they’ll see it in me and therefore they’ll do the same: to study, to graduate, to fulfill their dreams and reach their goals and to get to the point they want to reach.

 

“If we change a woman, We change a family. If we change a family, We change a community”

Shahaneth
Shahaneth
Jassiel
Jassiel
Yanina is a one of our first graduates in Colon
Yanina is a one of our first graduates in Colon

Dear friends, we have some news to give you since our last report regarding the CAPTA Pilot in Colon: we have graduated 26 women in Colon; 81% of them completed the course with high levels of leadership and a 65% with a significant improvement in their self-esteem. Eleven percent of the women started working after the course and 56% of them are seeking employment, mainly in supermarkets and in the customer service industry.

One of our graduates shares her story . . .

Yanina is a 37 year-old, single mother of three; she lives in Colon and heard about our training program while she was unemployed and paying for her family’s basic needs through informal jobs. The variety of classes that make up the CAPTA program really motived her to enroll in the course, from basic life skills to a technical training at one of the best hotel schools in the country. Yanina likes to learn new things and because education is so important to her she was one of the first students to get a scholarship in Colon.

“We are worthy” she said, “if you want to become someone you have to be prepared for what life brings you” that is why she invites all women who are in the same position as her to join the program.

For Yanina, one of the most notable changes in her life was the relationship with her children. “I wasn't listening to them" she says, in turn this was emotionally pushing her away from her children. The Family Relations class helped Yanina change her communication style with her children, making up for all the years she was absent from them. “For example, when we sit at the table, they ask me about my day and I ask about theirs, our communication is better now” she adds, “As a single mother I have to be a role model for them”.

She believes that CAPTA can make major changes in Colon, “the program has a lot to offer to women like me who were self-conscious and insecure; often times when we get stepped on by men, we are afraid to go on by ourselves and afraid to fail. With this course, I learned that you have to work hard if you want to succeed, so “I dare those women who are afraid and self-conscious like I was, to join CAPTA because the course is amazing and they will love it!” concludes Yanina.

Executive Director, Dalys Rodriguez, says that “in every tear and every smile we see genuine change in the lives of each of these women… Together we are changing Colon”.

You can see the full video in Spanish on the following link: CAPTA Women Testimonial.

 

For more information, visit:

www.fundacioncalicanto.org

www.facebook.com/fundacioncalicanto.org

@fundcalicanto

First recruitment of CAPTA in Colon.
First recruitment of CAPTA in Colon.
Receiving her scholarship.
Receiving her scholarship.
Our beneficiaries in their vocational training
Our beneficiaries in their vocational training
Proud to be a CAPTA graduate!
Proud to be a CAPTA graduate!
Board of Directors of Calicanto Foundation
Board of Directors of Calicanto Foundation

As part of International Women's Day we hosted the Global Mentoring Walk, a meeting that took place in more than 50 countries simultaneously.

Women of all ages gathered at the Global Mentoring Walk, an initiative promoted by Vital Voices around the world to foster leadership, empowerment and entrepreneurship of women. Calicanto Foundation was responsible for organizing this activity in Panama, which was held last Saturday.

During the activity, 10 mentors share their experiences through mentorships. Each, in small groups, offered their advice on various issues such as Healthy Relationships and Self-Esteem, Continuous Improvement, Financial Independence, Entrepreneurship and Leadership among others.

Will continue to promote the fundamental rights of the Panamanians, thanks to this activity we will train and help 10 young women living at social risk to meet their professional and personal goals, for a continuous year.

We sincerely hope to expand our activity in our community and to have the participation of valuable individuals such as every one of you. Our goal is to promote labor inclusion and empowerment of young Panamanians through mentorship.

Next year we hope to continue working hand by hand for a better country, full of opportunities and growth.

¡¡GRACIAS!!

Global Shapers Panama
Global Shapers Panama
CAPTA graduates were presented
CAPTA graduates were presented
Young group from Fundacion Transicion a la Vida
Young group from Fundacion Transicion a la Vida
One of our mentors and her mentees
One of our mentors and her mentees
More than 150 people participated
More than 150 people participated

Links:

First group of the year
First group of the year

Calicanto Foundation starts its program CAPTA in the city of Colón with a total of 24 women living at social risk and poverty. With words of welcome by the staff, we had a moment where emotions could not be kept away thanks to our candle ceremony where the women told us their goals and dreams.

In the end, this long-awaited moment became a reality with the beginning of the fundamental cycle. Along with the staff, we had the pleasant visit of members from the US Embassy in Panamá. The US Embassy sponsor this project and we are deeply grateful with them because it is so important to work with the community of Colón to improve the social problematic they are currently dealing with.

These girls spent the day with theatre professor and professional actor Jaime Newball who gave an intense acting and dramatization class to break the ice between the new beneficiaries and the professors.

Women paying attention to the Executive Director
Women paying attention to the Executive Director
The Executive Director providing scholarships
The Executive Director providing scholarships
The girls getting to know each other
The girls getting to know each other
Good luck!
Good luck!

Links:

Local woman managing a food stand
Local woman managing a food stand

We have graduated more than 700 women since 2005, of which 64% are working in hotels and other businesses; and 8% chose to continue their studies.

So far, our area of action had limited itself to San Felipe, El Chorrillo, Curundú, Santa Ana and Calidonia but in 2015, we started the process of expansion outside our traditional sectors.

The province of Colon is located near the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. It is commercially important for the country because of the Free Zone (the world's second largest) and by its ports activities. We aim to change the reality of families living at dangerous and marginalized areas, this effort is supported by the Embassy of the United States that rely on the viability of the program and have chosen the City of Colon as the perfect candidate for social change. 

Why is it important?

Colon City has big problems such as unemployment, education and social support, which is why many of the young people end up associated with gangs. However, women have an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to succeed with their families. They represent 48% of the colonense population, within this percentage the majority is under the figure of "head of household" and must address their homes by themselves.

Our desire to help

Calicanto Foundation, ensuring the social restructuring of the province of Colon and believing in strong women living in this sector, decided to extend its training program (CAPTA) to areas such as Barrio Norte, Barrio Sur, Buena Vista, Puerto Escondido, Villa Caribe, reverted areas and Arco Iris located in the City of Colon. During the next two years, we plan to train and locate more than 220 colonenses women in the Hotel industry.

A CAPTA woman increases 70% of her self-esteem; 60% of them became leaders in their community; 90% received health certificates. 85% of women culminated the course and 64% of them are located into the labor market.

Expansion has not been an easy task, but we have had the support of the Embassy of the United States during this journey of hope. We have approximately 75% of the funds needed to develop our program in the sister province of Colon. In 2015 we managed to perform: 

  • Community research
  • Geographical recognition of Colon
  • Reconstruction of the class room
  • Installation of furniture
  • Manual and Training Plan
  • Hiring full-time staff

Our work does not end there. We need your help! we want to educate each of our beneficiaries with the right equipment and provide them the tools they need to achieve their goals. Once accredited to take part in the tourism-hotel sector, it will attract other women to improve their lives and their environment. 

Help us build a new Colon City, full of opportunities and decent work for colonenses mothers. Hundreds of homes, children and communities will be influenced by this wave of social restructuring. You can be part of this change!

Colon City view from above
Colon City view from above
Colonenses women and their children
Colonenses women and their children
Second recruitment of local women
Second recruitment of local women
Facilities center before the renovation
Facilities center before the renovation
United to change the community of Colon
United to change the community of Colon
 

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Organization Information

Fundacion Calicanto

Location: Panama City, Panama - Panama
Website: http:/​/​www.fundacioncalicanto.org
Project Leader:
Hildegard Vasquez
Panama, Panama

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