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Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms

by Voces Vitales de Panama
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms
Four Years of Las Claras Program
Four Years of Las Claras Program

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our two homes within the communities of Felipillo & Santa Ana.

We’re excited to say that in August the Las Claras Program celebrated four years since it first opened its doors to teen mothers in search of an opportunity to transform their lives. Since then we've graduated FOUR generations (and are about to graduate two more by the end of this year), with more than 130 lives that have been impacted sustainably. All of our graduates hold a steady job with above minimum wage salaries. None of our graduates have had further early pregnancies.  All of our graduates coincide in saying that the key element for their transformation is the 360 degrees education and empowerment that the program provided them. We're proud of these results and will keep on working to increse our impact every year. 

Last month our fifth group at the Las Claras Center initiated with their internship program called "Mi Primer Empleo" (My First Job), an opportunity that every student at our centers receive almost by the end of their time with us. They all write their resumes, receive interviews and get chosen by the companies participating in the initiative. So with a sense of self-accomplishment, and with excitement for the new enviroments and lessons to be learned, our students begin the last portion of the program before their graduation in the upcoming month. 

Good news keep on coming! This week we also welcomed our 8th group at the Las Claras Program. We're excited to see the progress within the following months as they grow accustom to classes and begin their path towards empowerment. 

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), almost all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re working nonstop and giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

Las Claras Staff
Las Claras Staff
Our Students Find Out Where There Internships Are
Our Students Find Out Where There Internships Are
Two Students as Interns at Panama Canal
Two Students as Interns at Panama Canal
Student as Intern in Copa Airlines
Student as Intern in Copa Airlines
Fifth Generation Students Receive their Uniforms!
Fifth Generation Students Receive their Uniforms!
seventh generation in Las Claras Felipillo
seventh generation in Las Claras Felipillo

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our two homes within the communities of Felipillo & Santa Ana.

We’re happy to say it’s been a very busy year. In March we welcomed our seventh generation of teen mothers at the Las Claras Program Felipillo, and our second group of students at Santa Ana! During the following 18 months they will receive classes, workshops, comprehensive health and therapy services so that they can graduate and obtain a better future. 

At the start of April we organized a “Day at the Theater” not only for our own students, but for children in the Felipillo Community, and with the help of donors and benefactors 200 kids were able to enjoy Snow White at Teatro En Círculo, well known venue in the city. It was a wonderful morning spent amongst laughter and wonder, and we’re sure to make efforts and repeat this experience in the future.

In May, we co-organized a concert for the communities surrounding our centers, pairing our efforts for this with Fundación Danilo Pérez (nonprofit in the arts and music) who visited our students and performed in Felipillo and Santa Ana, delighting families and children in the area.

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), almost all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re working nonstop and giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

Second generation in Las Claras Santa Ana
Second generation in Las Claras Santa Ana
Day at the Theater!
Day at the Theater!
Danilo Perez Foundation performing in Felipillo
Danilo Perez Foundation performing in Felipillo
3rd and 4th groups receiving high school diplomas
3rd and 4th groups receiving high school diplomas

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our two homes within the communities of Felipillo & Santa Ana.

In December we were proud to graduate our fourth group of teenage mothers who, after 18 months, successfully got to the finish line of our program. “Months ago, with a cluster of fears under our arms, we arrived at the Las Claras Program, with curious looks we observed every corner of this Center [...] but fortunately now we understand that only study and perseverance are the key to open the doors of tomorrow. I only want to tell the girls of the next generations, that we are our own destiny. Only we should ask ourselves what we want to make of our lives, and continue each day without stopping to fight and set goals for ourselves.”, stated Esmeralda Saavedra, in her speech as class valedictorian.

Currently, our groups in the Felipillo and Santa Ana communities have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus. We ended the year with smiles and hugs, preparing for a 2019 full of challenges and goals to accomplish.

Starting the year, we celebrated the first encounter between graduates from the Las Claras Program. Amongst many laughs, anecdotes and new stories to tell, we introduced the girls to new staff, as well as a big new initiative focused on them: with the intention of continuing their learning and personal progress, this new phase would allow them to meet with selected staff in order to continue therapy sessions and support group sessions, so that they get a space to talk about obstacles they currently face at the work place or in their process of job search. At the same time, added to this therapeutic aspect, we are working on coordinating different workshops in which they will be learning more about Excel, English Language, Etiquette and Protocol, Projection and Self-esteem, Security in Social Networks, and Personal Finance.

We have created this initiative as a safe and voluntary space for our graduates, which they can rely on to develop and reinforce knowledge while at the same time giving feedback and reccommendations so that it evolves alonside them. 

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), almost all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re working nonstop and giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

our graduates listen and exchange memories
our graduates listen and exchange memories
our graduates were thrilled to meet everyone again
our graduates were thrilled to meet everyone again
graduates at the encounter!
graduates at the encounter!
Graduation Ceremony for Third Class of Las Claras
Graduation Ceremony for Third Class of Las Claras

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our home in Felipillo.

In september we were proud to graduate our third group of teenage mothers who, after 18 months, successfully got to the finish line of our program. With the presence of our benefactors, donors, and helping friends, the graduation was full of emotional moments, scholarships for the best students, and even a surprise job placement for one of our students. “Getting to this moment has not been easy. It has required a lot of effort and dedication, but above all to have the motivation to do it. Today I not only believe in myself, but I’ve found the strength, hope and support system to fight for my own future and that of my baby.”, stated Wendy Ocampo, in her speech as class valedictorian.

Currently, our groups in the Felipillo and Santa Ana communities have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus. Furthermore, during September, our own staff at the two centers received workshops on warning signs of emotional wear and self-care, receiving tools to maintain a balance while providing care to populations at social risk. 

Last but not least, we have another graduation getting near! Our fourth group of teen moms have started with their professional internships through our initiative Mi Primer Salario (“My First Salary”) as an alliance with different private companies. Through this program, our teen mothers have the opportunity to do a professional internship with distinguished companies. Their efforts have paid off, and they have demonstrated their capacity to work for these following enterprises: Grupo Melo, Alcogal, Prival, Ecocaribe, Grupo Arrocha, Arvec, Varela Hermanos, Canal de Panamá, Monte Azul, Coronado Es Vida, Reprico, Dentons, Servicios Contables Pineda, CEINSA Constructora, y Natuviva.

 

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Furthermore, our own statistics keep showing us the powerful effect of our program within their lives even after graduation: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. By graduating two classes per year since 2017, we’re giving our 1000% to break with poverty and teen pregnancy cycles amongst vulnerable areas in Panama.

Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2017, there were 9,086 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy, meaning that around 30% of total pregnancies in our country belong to a child or teen mom. A number that doesn’t include cases from Social Security Fund, and private clinics. Furthermore, this number keeps on increasing every year, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

Fourth Group of Las Claras begin with internships
Fourth Group of Las Claras begin with internships
1st Class in Santa Ana community continue wclasses
1st Class in Santa Ana community continue wclasses
First group of Students at Las Claras Santa Ana
First group of Students at Las Claras Santa Ana

First of all, THANK YOU for your donations and on-going support for The Las Claras Program. Your actions have been key in establishing the program and getting settled in our home in Felipillo.

Now, we are also proud to communicate that thanks to your support a second Las Claras Center has started to operate in the Santa Ana Community, as part of a bigger effort (in alliance with other organizations, community leaders, and private sector businesses) to revitalize its impoverished population while promoting socio-economic progress through empowerment and education.

Las Claras started with the belief in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Its first center was established in 2014 with the dream of graduating and empowering teen mothers in the community of Felipillo. Eventually, especially when looking directly at the program’s impressive results, this dream grew to one in which we could expand and replicate it in other similar areas of the country in order to allow more teen girls to break with the poverty cycles surrounding them.

Santa Ana has now welcomed us and our first group of teen mothers is currently taking their first steps to a better future. They have seen, through our program graduates, faculty, and staff, that the road ahead is not an easy one: commitment, hard work, and perseverance are a must for our students. But they also know about the results that are ahead: none of our student graduates have gone through a second case of early pregnancy (highly common amongst this vulnerable population), all of our graduates have stable, and above minimum wage employment, all of our graduates are empowered to believe in their own potential to achieve goals and dreams. We are excited for what the future months will bring.

Meanwhile, in Felipillo our third group of teen mothers is getting ready to graduate. We are incredibly proud of everything they have accomplished so far, and are sure that the coming months will bring further advances and opportunities for them. 

In july, they started their professional internships through our initiative called Mi Primer Empleo (“My First Job”) as an alliance with different private companies. Through this program, our teen mothers now have the opportunity to do a professional internship with distinguished companies. Their efforts have paid off, and they have demonstrated their capacity to work for these following enterprises: Banistmo, Electrónica Médica, Farmacias Arrocha, Ernst & Young, Bolsa de Valores, Somos Seguro, Grupo Motta, IGRA, and Tecnasa.

We also received two visits by students and faculty from the University of Tulsa, who came all the way from the U.S. as part of the international exchange program for freshman university students. For three days they accompany us to learn about the Felipillo community and gain insight into effective methods of social action.

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. The teen mothers at the Las Claras Program have received care, education, and continuous support which allows them to find empowerment previously unknown to them. Still, the reality in our country is one that requires further action: only during 2015, there were 10,975 registered cases of teen and child pregnancy. And this number keeps on increasing, as every teen mom will most likely have a second child during the next 24 months. Worst of all, 75% of these girls will abandon schools. They will lack a plan for the future, self-esteem and confidence to pursue their dreams, a job to support themselves and their babies, and will add numbers to the cycle of poverty that pervades their environment.

Once more, we THANK YOU for your continuous support in this quest for a better quality of life for teen mothers and their children. PLEASE keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation!

More action still to come. Stay tuned :)

Santa Ana Students in class
Santa Ana Students in class
University of Tulsa students at Felipillo
University of Tulsa students at Felipillo
Third group of students at their internship!
Third group of students at their internship!
 

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Organization Information

Voces Vitales de Panama

Location: Panama - Panama
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @VocesVitalesPan
Project Leader:
Daney Ramirez
Panama, Panama
$16,474 raised of $20,000 goal
 
358 donations
$3,526 to go
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