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Centro Las Claras: New Opportunity for Teen Moms

by Voces Vitales de Panama
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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
So Proud of Them! Las Claras in Their Graduation
So Proud of Them! Las Claras in Their Graduation

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.

Las Claras started with the belief in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Now, our first group of teen mothers has graduated. In December they received their high school diplomas in Bachelor of Commerce and a certification for completing the Technical Program by INADEH.

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. They are now bilingual professionals with intermediate English, and in their majority they have already been inserted into the workforce. One of them, in fact, is now working as administrative assistant for our own organization and we are incredibly happy to have her, Elsa Pimentel, in our team.

In January, our second group of teen mothers was invited to visit the Presidency, as an invitation from the First Lady and her team. They were given a tour of the installations, and had the opportunity to talk with several of the staff working for the First Lady, so they could tell their stories and goals to them and receive feedback.

In February, we started classes with the third group of teen mothers at our program! Our Executive Director, Ana María de Vega, welcomed them into the Las Claras Center, and the staff inducted them into the rules and dynamics through several workshops and icebreakers. This new group of teen mothers will be spending 18 months in the program, so they can also graduate from high school, get several technical certifications, receive more than 200 hours of psychological therapy, improve their communication, self-esteem, and soft skills that will allow them to become self-reliant and empowered individuals.

Groups 2 and 3 of Las Claras have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus.

One of our favorite parts of the work at Vital Voices Panama, is that it also allows for our programs to find merging points that creates space for collaboration between them. Clear examples are the workshops that our women entrepreneurs, from the Mentorship and Entrepreneurship Program, give to our teen mothers in the Las Claras Program. Through these women, our teens learn about arts, crafts, self-reliance, and empowerment, and it´s definitely one of their favorite aspects on their schedule

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 :)

Graduating Class in Vital VoicesCelebration Event
Graduating Class in Vital VoicesCelebration Event
Las Claras at Ballet Gala in December
Las Claras at Ballet Gala in December
Las Claras at the Center in Felipillo
Las Claras at the Center in Felipillo
Las Claras at Presidency of Panama
Las Claras at Presidency of Panama
Third Group of Las Claras!
Third Group of Las Claras!
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Las Claras Gain Work Experience as Interns
Las Claras Gain Work Experience as Interns

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.

Las Claras started with the belief in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Now, our first 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 august, they started their professional internships through our new initiative called Mi Primer Salario (“My First Salary”) 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, World Target Supplies, Procesadora Monte Azul, Soluciones Financieras Mi Éxito, Grupo VerdeAzul, Tropical Services, Camero Camero & Asociados, Patton Moreno & Asvat, Bolsa de Valores de Panamá.

We also received a very important visit by representatives of the Juan Felipe Gómez Escobar foundation, who came all the way from Colombia to meet our staff and learn about the developments of our program. This represented a meaningful experience, since our very own Program Las Claras was created as inspiration of the Juan Felipe Gómez foundation, which educates hundreds of Colombian teen mothers that live in extreme poverty.

Both groups of Las Claras have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus that will allow them to receive their high school diploma at the end of the year.


One of our favorite parts of the work at Vital Voices Panama, is that it also allows for our programs to find merging points that creates space for collaboration between them. Clear examples are the workshops that our women entrepreneurs, from the Mentorship and Entrepreneurship Program, give to our teen mothers in the Las Claras Program. Through these women, our teens learn about arts, crafts, self-reliance, and empowerment, and it´s definitely one of their favorite aspects on their schedule


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 :)

 

The Juan Felipe Gomez Foundation Visits Las Claras
The Juan Felipe Gomez Foundation Visits Las Claras
Las Claras at a Local Fair
Las Claras at a Local Fair
Las Claras Receive Several Trainings and Workshops
Las Claras Receive Several Trainings and Workshops
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Receiving workshops by visiting private companies
Receiving workshops by visiting private companies

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.

It´s already been a year since we started the program! Las Claras started with the belief in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Now, our first group of teen mothers is getting ready to graduate on December 18. 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 may, we started to promote our new initiative called Mi Primer Salario (“My First Salary”) as an alliance with different private companies. Through this program, our teen mothers will have the opportunity to do a professional internship with distinguished companies, and even be considered for a permanent job at the end of the stipulated time period. Already several companies have visited us at the Las Claras Center, to interview and select their favorite candidates.

Both groups of Las Claras have also continued to receive a variety of workshops and classes, on top of the fixed syllabus that will allow them to receive their high school diploma at the end of the year. Metrobank and Banistmo, two major banks in Panama, visited during may and june to give them workshops on Personal Finance and Budgeting, Emergency Planning, Résumé Writing, and Job Interview Strategies.

One of our favorite parts of the work at Vital Voices Panama, is that it also allows for our programs to find merging points that creates space for collaboration between them. Clear examples are the workshops that our women entrepreneurs, from the Mentorship and Entrepreneurship Program, give to our teen mothers in the Las Claras Program. Through these women, our teens learn about arts, crafts, self-reliance, and empowerment, and it´s definitely one of their favorite aspects on their schedule

In june we celebrated our first anniversary at the Las Claras Center. It´s amazing how time flies and how, since we welcomed our first group of teenage mothers, the whole program has evolved. We are extremely proud of seeing their progress: our teenage mothers have overcome many of the challenges which fed their lack of security, self-reliance, sense of empowerment, and career goals. We are happy to prove that receiving education and finding empowerment go hand in hand.

One of their biggest personal improvements, is that they now feel empowered enough to talk publicly in defense of human rights issues. Currently, there is a huge debate in Panama in regards of the need for sexual education in our educational system. Understandably enough, our teenage mothers know firsthand how important this issue is, and how urgent it is needed in a country where 30 teenagers get pregnant every day, and where STI`s cases are very high. Consequently, they´ve braved themselves and have spoken publicly, on national television and big forums, about their own experiences as teen mothers that lacked a proper sex education. A few days ago, they even marched alongside many other groups in favor of the draft bill on sexual and reproductive health, and were happy to speak out loud about their points of views.

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 :)

Women Entrepreneurs giving workshops on crafts
Women Entrepreneurs giving workshops on crafts
One year celebration at the Las Claras Center!
One year celebration at the Las Claras Center!
Las Claras being interviewed for Mi Primer Salario
Las Claras being interviewed for Mi Primer Salario
Las Claras on national television
Las Claras on national television
Babies getting proper care while their moms study
Babies getting proper care while their moms study
Las Claras and staff on our way to the march
Las Claras and staff on our way to the march
Las Claras voicing their support
Las Claras voicing their support
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Computer classes by INADEH, at Center Las Claras
Computer classes by INADEH, at Center 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.

Nine months ago, we started the project believing in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Now, we have already started with our second group of teen moms! Inspired by the effects the program has had on the first group, at the end of February we welcomed 10 more teen mothers to be a part of the program.

Back in February our teen moms in the first group started to take computer and office clerk workshops given by INADEH (National Institute of Professional Training for Human Development). As part of the requirements of the institute, they have to wear professional uniforms during class. It was inspiring to look at them during their first class, and notice the happiness and hope that was caused by dressing professionally. They are completely empowered and believe in a better future for themselves and their babies. It´s extraordinary to look at them now: the girls have gained confidence in themselves, they have acquired entrepreneurial skills with which to work, and they’ve started to think about life aspirations. Some of them are still shy and all of them struggle with life outside the Center´s walls, but little by little we are chipping away their insecurities and working to gain better personal, social, educational and labor skills and abilities.

We were also invited to participate in the Foodie Festival done by Blogger Week LATAM, a major event that took place in Panama City in benefit of Las Claras. We spent the weekend raising awareness, and were joined by a big part of Las Claras teen moms that wanted to join the activities, sell their products (thanks to our entrepreneurial workshops, lots of them are already gaining some income), and meet the public.

Meanwhile, the second and newest group of teen mothers have already started with individual and group therapy. We are also getting them involved in all kinds of activities and workshops, so they can begin their journey towards empowerment and motivation. English class with our star volunteer, teacher Bertha, has already become one of their favorites! At the same time, we are giving our all in the search for more teen mothers to participate in the program, and continue our walks through health centers near the area.

Another noteworthy event that happened in the past months was the visit of TCU (Texas Christian University) students and faculty. As part of their program, TCU Global Academy, they came to the Las Claras Center so they could learn about our project, make interviews to our teen mothers and the community that surrounds them, and propose new ideas for a better sustainability of both the Felipillo area and the program.

All through April, the first group of Las Claras received intensive workshops on the labor market, interview and job search tips, etc. by allied companies, such as Copa Airlines and Metrobank, that have joined our fight for a better future. A few weeks ago, the coworking space Inventarios invited them to their headquarters, so they could learn about different professions and get inspired by some of the coworking team life stories. It was an amazing experience for them: our teen mothers opened up with different people and talked about their dreams, life goals and struggles. They absorbed all information that was given and were energized by the experience.

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. Still, the reality in our country is one that requires 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-esteen 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 :)

In uniform! Office and administrative workshops
In uniform! Office and administrative workshops
The second group of teen mothers is here!
The second group of teen mothers is here!
First day of class for the second group
First day of class for the second group
Las Claras and Vital Voices staff at Foodie Fest
Las Claras and Vital Voices staff at Foodie Fest
Having fun with our totem "Clarita" at Foodie Fest
Having fun with our totem "Clarita" at Foodie Fest
TCU at Las Claras. Workshop with the two groups
TCU at Las Claras. Workshop with the two groups
Babies at our "Casa Cuna"receive early stimulation
Babies at our "Casa Cuna"receive early stimulation
Cooking workshop with a volunteer chef
Cooking workshop with a volunteer chef
Day at Inventarios Coworking space!
Day at Inventarios Coworking space!
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Bazaar Las Claras
Bazaar 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.

Six months ago, we started the project believing in the power of education and the effect that it would have on empowering teen moms. Now, these effects are noticeable: The girls have gained confidence in themselves, they have acquired entrepreneurial skills with which to work, and they’ve started to think about life aspirations.

Their favorite class is English. They not only learn in a fun environment with teacher Bertha, but are persistently encouraged to participate with confidence. She´s tough, but her methods are continuously molding to the girls needs. Whether it is through song, flash cards, dynamic participation, etc. Bertha keeps them on their toes, and strives to feed the thirst for knowledge in them.

Back in December, the girls received a workshop in makeup and etiquette, and were later celebrated on their first Mother´s Day. The event took place at Laduree, a beautiful locale in Panama City, and it included the presence of several of the greatest supporters of our cause. The celebration was filled with emotion, as the girls exchanged stories with everyone, and we all toasted for the future success in their lives.

For Christmas, the center was filled with activity. The girls received a workshop on making christmas cakes, cookies and gingerbread houses. Feeling empowered, many of the girls started a micro-business and sold these ítems to the public. They took orders, made schedules, and got to work. Every time a donor visited, and in every event that we had outside the center, they also made sure to have their products nearby.

Finally, we had our Christmas and End-of-the-Year party at the center in Felipillo. It was a fun day, in which we sang christmas carols, had a costume contest for the babies, and even awarded five of the girls for their hard work, discipline, and leadership skills. A few days later, the Ben Btesh group sponsored a Christmas party for the girls, and enjoyed a day filled with christmas spirit.

Nowadays, we are visiting different clinics near the area, so that we find the second group of 25 girls that will be welcomed into our program. It´s an exciting moment, to see the impact that this project can have and embark on an adventure with a new group in february. The first group will also keep on evolving, as it soon will start  with their GED courses and technical workshops on logistic management.

As you can see, we´ve come a long way during these past months. Still, the reality in our country is one that requires 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, 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. Keep donating and invite others to join us in this quest with their donation.

More action still to come. Stay tuned!  

Future Entrepreneurs
Future Entrepreneurs
Mothers Day at Laduree
Mothers Day at Laduree
Costume Contest for the Little Ones
Costume Contest for the Little Ones
Gingerbread House and Cakes Made by Las Claras
Gingerbread House and Cakes Made by Las Claras
Celebrating Christmas!
Celebrating Christmas!
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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
$17,085 raised of $20,000 goal
 
374 donations
$2,915 to go
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