Reducing risk, improving opportunity for young women in Panama

May 18, 2015

There are two orphanages in Panama that have operated since the 1800s. Asilo Malambo and Hogar San Vicente are home to about 150 girls who have suffered “complex trauma” in the form of violence, abuse, severe poverty, neglect and malnutrition. Some are HIV positive. While the girls are well cared for in these homes, many have no plan for their lives when they turn 18, at which point they must fend for themselves without the benefits of job skills or life skills. Many turn to unhealthy, dependent relationships and unsavory work in order to survive.

Girls who can speak English have remarkably better job opportunities. If they also know how to do things such as pay bills, rent an apartment – even order food in a restaurant – they will be much more prepared and confident to take on the responsibilities of adulthood and avoid the traps of destructive lifestyles.

With great excitement, we announce a one-year pilot project in Panama, in cooperation with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation (OSF). OSF serves orphans, victims of abuse and at-risk youth by providing technology training and access to computer labs. Just Hope’s involvement in this project is to work alongside OSF to empower girls who face the dangers mentioned above. Just Hope will provide the necessary training through materials and a qualified teacher, who will teach English and life skills to at-risk girls twice a week.

Please join us in prayer as we embark on this project.