In Costa Rica, every day, 34 mothers whose ages range from 12 to 17, give birth. Approximately 15% of all pregnancies are teen pregnancies and the majority take place within “innapropiate relationships”, relationships where the man is a lot older than the girl. This is against the law in Costa Rica. Latin America, in general, has the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the world and it is the only region where pregnancies in girls under age 15 are increasing.
Soy Niña was founded to tackle these statistics, to empower at-risk girls so that they can not only prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but also break the cycle of poverty.
Currently, we impact girls directly through our signature program “Club Niña” at two different communities in Desamparados, in the province of San José. Our goal is to reach as many girls as possible throughout the country, especially in areas with high teen pregnancy rates, such as rural areas and our frontier with Panamá and Nicaragua.
Club Niña is a weekly, two-hour program, currently for girls in the first through third grades (ages 6-9). We provide a safe space and guide the girls through the process of positive self-image and self-esteem as well as a better understanding of healthy relationships.
Our club is based on life-skills such as respect, critical thinking, empathy, and conflict resolution, among others. As an added experience, Club Niña has a special STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math) and Fitness/Nutrition session.
We work so girls can develop and strengthen their socio-emotional skills in order to take care of themselves, stay in school and make informed decisions regarding their own lives. We firmly believe in early intervention and prevention, as well as in the fight against gender inequality. Our goal is that the girls of Club Niña become empowered and confident, that they achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
We hope to count on the support of friends in the United States and around the world that can help us make Soy Niña financially sustainable. With your support, we can make sure that we continue having an impact on many girls and that we can reach more girls starting next year (2019).
“In Soy Niña I have learned that we are all beautiful, no matter what skin color we are or what size.” – Fiorela, 9
“Soy Niña has taught me about bullying and that I need to be nice and respect others”. – Naomi, 9
“I like to come to Soy Niña because I play and make new friends”. – Dana, 7