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
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Two Students as Interns at Panama Canal
Student as Intern in Copa Airlines
Fifth Generation Students Receive their Uniforms!