A brighter future for teenage mothers in Colombia

Thanks to the work of the Fundación Juanfe, 150 teenage mothers from Cartagena de Indias have taken ownership of their own lives

Thanks to the work of the Fundación Juanfe, 150 teenage mothers from Cartagena de Indias have taken ownership of their own lives Thanks to the work of the Fundación Juanfe, 150 teenage mothers from Cartagena de Indias have taken ownership of their own lives

Daniela Martínez is one clear example of how with a lot of effort and the right support we can all achieve our dreams. At twenty years old and with a five-year-old child, Daniela, who is displaced from the Chocó Department of the Colombian pacific region, is her family's breadwinner. Thanks to Fundación JUANFE's help she was able to finish her Hotel Services studies and, through the foundation's Employment and Entrepreneurship Office, she found work as a Services Representative in the Kokoriko traditional food restaurants chain. In addition to working and looking after her family, Daniela, who has just bought her first house, is taking a course in International Business Administration at the Ceipa educational institution.

This is just one of the cases that the Fundación Juanfe team has told us about, but there are so many more of these success stories. In Cartagena, 3,951 teenage mothers benefited from this association's programs between 2002 and 2018.

The Teenage Mothers program helps them decide what they want to do with their lives and to improve their mental and emotional situation. The program works on their social skills, their ability to live together with others, to learn and resolve conflicts and also provides them with sexual and reproductive education. The beneficiaries of this program can continue with the Teenage Mothers Monitoring program which trains them for a technical career and offers them the necessary tools to help them join the formal labor market. At this stage, they continue to strengthen their emotional state and work on empowering them through their sexual and reproductive rights.

In the words of Catalina Escobar, founder and president of Fundación Juanfe, the association works “not only on lifting them out of poverty but also on restoring their dignity”. Thanks to their efforts, many women in Colombia have already achieved this.