Las Claras Summer Program ("Veranito Las Claras") is an initiative that started on 2018 to involve young girls (7 to 14 years old) in the community of Felipillo so that they could receive several workshops and classes on vital and empowering life skills. Furthermore, it is an initiative where our very own teen mothers at the Las Claras Program (main project) involve themselves as leaders, guiding and supervising the girls in their daily activities, in this way giving back to their community.
In Latin America, girls in elementary are four times more likely to become pregnant than girls in higher levels of education. In Panama, more than 30% of all living births are from a teen mother, one of the most troublesome numbers of the region. Unfortunately, more than 75% of these mothers drop out school. In these circumstances, teen mothers and their children are destined to perpetuate cycles of poverty, violence and sickness, taking a tool in the social and economic development Panama.
The Las Claras Program already works hard at "secondary prevention": teen mothers receive an education and avoid a second and third instance at early pregnancy. However, with the Las Claras Summer Program we work at "primary prevention" by providing essential tools for younger girls, so that they become empowered and aware of risk factors allowing them to better defend themselves. Students gain a sense of control and strength that motivates them in school and daily activities.
The Las Claras Summer Program works with young girls in the community of Felipillo, allowing them to gain empowerment and more control over their own futures. By working to prevent common early pregnancies in this community, and through the power of education, these girls will break with the cycles of poverty in their communities, instead becoming self-sufficient and contributing to the healthy development of their communities.