Every day, girls around the world are faced with challenges that hinder their empowerment and growth. Sometimes, these challenges are deeply rooted in gender discrimination. While society may tell girls that they are less capable than boys or men, programs for empowering girls provide the resources for them to overcome barriers and realize their full potential.
In Guatemala, Love Without Boundaries’ Empower Me teen program is dedicated to helping young women rise above societal pressures and embrace their power to create a brighter future for themselves and their communities. This essential program is one of the most important tools for empowerment and provides girls with access to workshops, mentorship opportunities, and the chance to connect with other like-minded individuals. Our Empower Me program sets at-risk teen girls on a path toward change that empowers them as individuals and impacts society at large.
Challenges Faced by Adolescent Girls in Guatemala
In Guatemala, girls are at increased risk of quitting school early and either going to work or caring for other family members. In rural areas of Guatemala, the statistics are even more daunting.
Girls are often exposed to domestic or other forms of violence and encouraged to marry and have children at a very young age. According to the World Bank, only about 60% of girls in Guatemala complete primary school, and even fewer go on to secondary school. Poverty, early marriage, and limited access to resources all contribute to this problem. Without education and support, many girls in Guatemala are at risk of continuing the cycle of poverty and inequality. That’s why programs like Empower Me are so important.
Violence or abuse towards women in Guatemala is heartbreakingly prevalent. Domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women in Guatemala with over 91% of women reporting that they have experienced these traumas in their homes.
Empowering Girls Through Education
Girls in Guatemala face numerous challenges that limit their opportunities for growth and development. The average girl’s schooling stops after the fourth grade, and half of all Guatemalan girls become mothers by 18.
Gender inequality is a major factor as women make up only around 25 percent of the labor force. Only one-third of Guatemalan women aged 25 to 64 have attended high school and attained a secondary school education.
Teen girls in Guatemala also lack access to quality healthcare, proper nutrition, and education opportunities. Aspirations are often low among girls in Guatemala, and communication barriers can hinder progress resulting in further disparities in gender inequality.
In response to these issues, our Empower Me program was designed specifically for adolescent girls in Guatemala to reduce gender inequities, foster economic productivity, and promote health and well-being. This program provides girls with health information, mentor support, weekly workshops, and access to resources that enable them to dream big and reach their full potential despite the various impediments they face.
Mentorship programs encourage girls to stay in school and pursue their dreams. Our mentors provide guidance as the girls in the Empower Me program navigate the challenges of school. Mentors help the girls with topics such as:
- Developing skills and interests
- Making decisions about their education
- Balancing academics with other priorities
A mentor’s positive influence can help girls develop a sense of confidence and empowerment that can have a lasting impact on their lives.
Our essential mentorship program also empowers girls to become leaders in their communities. Through creative workshops, the girls develop strengths, interests, and talents. They learn how to identify opportunities and create positive futures for themselves. Through the process of making good decisions, setting goals, and working towards these goals together, valuable life skills are developed that will serve them well no matter what path they choose to follow.
Educating girls about women’s health and hygiene issues is a key feature of our Empower Me program. Girls in our program receive monthly Violet Kits with essential personal hygiene items that are difficult for many women to access in Guatemala.
A teen without personal hygiene items is more likely to miss school. By empowering girls to better understand their bodies and health, we hope to remove a huge barrier to attending school. And of course, providing these items also promotes a teen girl’s dignity and self-respect!
Empowering Girls Through Mentoring and Peer Relationships
Through an innovative program called Empower Me, Love Without Boundaries is helping adolescent girls in Guatemala become more involved in the conversation about gender equity. Our Empower Me program was developed to meet the needs that teen girls in Guatemala face and to ensure that they have the tools they need to prepare for a healthy and successful future.
Through supportive mentor and peer relationships, the girls receive support to help them achieve their goals and become leaders in their community. In addition to mentors, the girls are inspired by peers who motivate and support each other to pursue new paths and contribute to meaningful challenges in their community. This program is crucial for girls in Guatemala who face significant barriers to accessing education, employment, and safe environments due to pervasive violence.
Empowering Girls by Investing in the Next Generation
Investing in girls is crucial for the future of Guatemala and other countries around the world.
Currently, Guatemalan girls are less likely to complete secondary school and are more likely to become mothers early. Empowering girls and investing in their education and life opportunities can help address this gap and empower them to become leaders and contribute to their communities.
Our Empower Me program provides opportunities for girls to pursue their dreams, no matter how big or small.
The result of empowering teen girls will ultimately have a lasting and positive result — not only in the individual lives of the girls, but also in their families, their communities, and throughout Guatemala.
Our big dream is to raise $25,000 to support 120 girls in our Empower Me teen program. The cost per girl to attend Empower Me Teen for one month is $27. This includes four workshops, program materials, hygiene products, and nutritious snacks.
We’re gratefully accepting one-time donations in the amounts of $25, $100, or any amount. Ongoing sponsorships of $25 per month, or $300 per year, are also available.
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