The survival skills classes are progressing smoothly, and the girls are very engaged and keenly interested. They realize these classes provide the best hope for successful transition after aging out of the orphanages. We have hired an English teacher for the girls in Malambo, Cheryl Carmago, and are still seeking an English teacher for the girls in Colon.
We enjoyed successful leadership team meetings in April and early May during which we met all of the students and participated in a few survival skills lessons. The students experienced their first field trip to a restaurant. With the help of the Survival Skills teachers, the students mastered several new skills including navigating transportation and bus routes, wading through a menu, communicating with a waiter, practicing manners, and paying a bill. For most, this was the very first time to eat in a restaurant or take a bus, and they were very nervous. But their excitement quickly conquered their fears! All the girls said it was a wonderful experience and they learned so much through each new step.
Some of our time there was spent investigating job placement, college opportunities, and transitional housing as we plan ahead for when the first girls age out of the orphanages this December.