Equipping the next generation of responsible and healthy leaders
This month, our first Teen Club students celebrated their graduation after one year in the program. It was an emotional day for our teens, who have worked hard to develop their leadership over the past months. A partnership with TeenSmart International, our program uses the Jovensalud.net platform to teach students about the stages of human development and equip them with the skills they need to make responsible decisions about their sexuality and lives. Through this, we hope to reduce the number of teen pregnancies in the region we serve, where some 25% of births are to adolescent mothers. Over the past year, our counseling center at Clinica Verde provided adolescents educational opportunities and enrichment technology to develop their level of knowledge, skills of self leadership, and healthy lifestyle choices. Twenty of the teens become peer counselors, doing outreach to other teens in the communities where they live.
The teen community we’ve created is something we’re very proud of at Clinica Verde. We’re making great progress, but we’ve learned a lot over the past year and have much more work to do. The personal feedback we’ve received from the students is excellent, and our post-program surveys show some important gains: a 10% increase in the regular use of condoms for those teens who are sexually active, and a 10% decline in the incidence of depression and suicidal thoughts. Even more dramatically, surveys indicated a 23% increase in the number of students who are making an effort to eat healthy and nutritious foods.
This is all good news! We hope to continue this work in the coming year with the support of the Strachan Foundation and others who believe in the program. We welcome your support!
Thank you, as always, for touching the lives of our teens in such a lasting and meaningful way.