A diploma for a brigther future

Henry Bautista is currently deployed in Morocco as a volunteer communications advisor and has also undertaken a similar mission in Costa Rica as part of the “Protection of children, women and other vulnerable communities (PRODEF)” project, implemented by the International Bureau for Children’s Rights and Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC), with the financial support of the Government of Canada through World Affairs Canada. This one-year term in Costa Rica took place from May 2018 to May 2019, with the Paniamor Foundation.

The Paniamor Foundation’s Trayectorias Juveniles/ YouthPathways.CR project has been implemented since 2018 in the province of Limón, Costa Rica, a region with high levels of social vulnerability. This project targets young girls and boys aged 14 to 21, with low levels of education, excluded from the formal labour market and exposed to a number of different types of exploitation. To date, nearly 100 young people have participated in this project and benefited from several non-technical training courses aimed at improving their relational skills, and have been able to live a supervised experience in a traditional workplace, a first for many of these young people.

On Monday, 23 September, the city of Limón enjoyed a celebration, as some thirty young people aged 15 to 20 who had participated in the Trayectoria Juvénil project were awarded a diploma in softskills. This special training programme has enabled these young people to acquire relational skills, which are essential for their personal and professional development.

Indeed, the skills taught through this project focus on the development of social and emotional intelligence, now highly valued in the labour market.

A Success Story

El Colono is one of the local partners that have chosen to support the project by opening its doors to young people involved in the project to gain their first work experience under the guidance of a mentor. Among these young people is Jennyfer, 20 years old.

Originally from Siquirres, in the province of Limón, Jennyfer became a mother at an early age and was unable to complete her secondary education. Without a father figure, she is the eldest of 8 siblings and had to take on the responsibility of contributing to the income of the house at an early age to satisfy her family’s basic needs.

The girl’s decision to participate in the Trayectorias Juveniles project was not an easy one, but with her mother’s dream of a more promising future for her, she eventually embarked on the journey.

Jennyfer has not had an easy life. Her face and her eyes reveal the difficulties she has encountered, and a very deep sadness. But her permanent and generous smile is a sign of an inner fight against fatalism, and thanks to the Trayectorias Juveniles project, her story will finally have a positive outcome.

Jennyfer has performed in an exemplary manner in many respects: she has an interesting approach to work. She set a precedent and opened up opportunities for other young people seeking practical experience in the workplace. They will need to measure up to her or be better in terms of dedication because she has demonstrated real skills. Carlos Vazquez, Sales Supervisor at El Colono de Siquirres agency.

Thanks to her commitment, natural leadership and intelligence, Jennyfer was hired to be part of the Trayectorias Juveniles project team as a lead facilitator at the Siquirres branch following her involvement in the project. In addition, she has just obtained a scholarship from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Costa Rica to pursue studies to become a technical secretary. Her case is undoubtedly an example of resilience, and her success proves the positive impact of the project on the lives of those who are partake in it.

The Paniamor Foundation

The Paniamor Foundation works to build a Costa Rica where children and adolescents live a life filled with hope and meaning, free of violence and discrimination. With this vision, Paniamor focuses its efforts across the country by targeting two main lines of action: prevention of and response to violence, and social inclusion. The Youth Trajectories/YouthPathways CR project is part of this second line of action and is being jointly implemented with YouthBuild International and with financial support from the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).