ASAPROSAR is proud to launch our partnership with Ashoka with support from the Seattle International Foundation. Please read the article in La Prensa Grafica regarding our partnership with Ashoka.
Promoting leadership among the youth
At risk youth program involving social entrepreneurs in Santa Ana
Written by Juan Carlos Barahona
The pregnancy of her 15-year-old best friend, caused Josseline Pineda, 14, to start to think what to do for other teens in her community, the colony Emmanuel de Santa Ana, so they wouldn’t have the same luck but would have greater opportunities in their lives.
It was not only Pineda's friend that had to deal with early pregnancy, for many young women in this area have also become mothers at an early age. For that reason, Pineda has presented an education project to members of the community located on a property of the Ministry of Education in Santa Ana.
Her project is part of a program of young social entrepreneurs that has been called "We Go Forward” (Avancemos). This program is executed by the Salvadoran Association for Rural Health (ASAPROSAR) with the support of the organization Ashoka and the Seattle International Foundation.
"In our community most of us are teenagers, but there are pregnant teenagers and others who are already mothers. We want to avoid that with the rest of the teenagers," Pineda said. To do this, she says, they will implement a clinic that will provide educational services for all youth in the community, for some just to avoid falling into this situation and for others to understand the responsibilities involved in becoming an adolescent parent.
This young lady is part of a group of 60 young Santanecos (from Santa Ana) that will benefit from this program. The “seed capital” will be provided to start their projects that will address the problems of their communities and also have a means to raise revenue. Most o the youth come from various disadvantaged communities with high social risk either because of the poverty level, social violence or social exclusion.
Armando Laborde, director of Ashoka for Mexico and Central America, said the organization emerged 30 years ago and is present in 70 countries worldwide. It looks for the solution to social problems from original proposals from those affected by such situations. This is Ashoka’s first foray into the country and she sees the ASAPROSAR program as a pilot that can expand and benefit more young people.
From the USA
The Seattle International Foundation supports regional programs targeted for microfinance, leadership development and public policy. Laborde said these kinds of projects, which require a minimum investment, have achieved good results.
The executive director of the Seattle International Foundation, Mauricio Vivero said they have provided seed capital for projects of adolescents in Santa Ana. The program is scheduled to be executed in one year and depending on the results follow up projects will continue, without ruling out an expansion to benefit more young people. Vivero said the Seattle International Foundation has a presence in El Salvador and Central America, supporting a diverse range of productive projects.