Orphanages in Panama face a big problem with institutionalized youth that have no access to quality education and generally fail to integrate in society. Our program focuses on women and works on their personal development. This project will help us expand to 2 orphanages in one of the most dangerous parts of Panama City - San Miguelito, where the rates of adolescent pregnancy, drug abuse, crime and prostitution are highest. Our program provides them with a chance for a better life & education.
Despite considerable economic progress in Panama in the last couple of years, the social class inequity has also been growing and access to quality education for the majority of Panamanians is decreasing. One of the consequences is higher rate of children & adolescents in orphanages, approximately 5000 of them. The adolescence pregnancy has increased 5% in 2016 and for the girls from orphanages there is a 50% rate of getting pregnant within 2 year living outside the orphanage (Age range:15-18)
Our program develops skills as resilience, self-esteem and self respect. Combined with higher education, we can lower the 50% adolescence pregnancy rate to 6% and also increase educational rate from 3% to 60%. These results are based on our work in 2 orphanages for the past 4 years. With this project we will have the opportunity to implement the program in additional 2 orphanages for girls. We work with small number of participants but have a high impact on their lives.
This project will provide a good case practice for implementing the program in other orphanages. In 2017, we will implement the program in 2 additional girl orphanages, providing education and forming 10 resilient, independent women that will be the change agents for the high risk areas they live in. In every following year our plan is to implement the program in at least 1 additional orphanage thus multiplying the effect.