New Minds, A Courageous Girl's Group
Volcàn is located in the Costa Rican district of Buenos Aires in the province of Puntarenas, one of the poorest districts in the country. Pineapple fields surround the town, a source of jobs for families, but one that pays little. Illiteracy, alcoholism, and drug addiction are rampant in the region. For young girls, many who come from single parent, impoverished homes and whose peers are adolescent mothers, hope comes in the form of a girl's empowerment group, offering a safe and fun learning environment. A $500 grant from World Connect's Kids to Kids Program in 2011 supported weekly meetings that addressed leadership, communication, sexuality, self-esteem, machismo, values, rights, environmental protection, drugs, HIV/AIDS, the arts, career choices. The girls also participated in educational field trips, sports events and community service activities both in their own community and in the larger region.