On February 8, at the facilities of Lead University, the Youth Action Foundation (FAJ) and the US Embassy in Costa Rica, offered a thank-you breakfast and accountability of the FAJ-INL project in the areas of Limón and Puntarenas, during 2015 and 2016.
The event highlighted the work and effort made by the team, appreciating the great support provided by its allies, who were an essential part of the success of all the achievements made. Representatives of the public sector, such as ICODER and the Union of Local Governments, international cooperation such as UNDP, and private sector allies including Grupo Pasqui, Banco BCT, DELL, APM Terminals and Banco Promerica, and stakeholders civil society as Habitat for Humanity.
David Hernández, chief operating officer of FAJ, highlighted the importance of this project for both coastal areas, which benefited from youth leadership initiatives, prevention of student exclusion, youth employability and prevention of violence and drug use.
This was achieved through joint work in schools with seventh and tenth grade students (levels with the highest exclusion rate), teachers, community members and strategic allies, addressing a human development approach, community transformation, entrepreneurship and employability and promoting adolescents to make their own decisions.
In Puntarenas, the program was implemented in the Liceo de Chacarita and nearby communities. Through this process it was possible that the educational exclusion fell from 13.40% to 10.49% in 2015 and then to 7.50% in 2016. Achieved likewise was the process of bidding for constructing a new school, the formation of the BUGOS community group and support for its initiatives, the BodyBoard Student Tournament and a close relationship between the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton and the educational center, which enabled the development of the 2015 training program and the Hilton Careers 2016.
Likewise, in Limón, student exclusion rates in the tenth year were reduced to 7.69% in 2015 and then 5.40% in 2016, compared to a 15.8% exclusion figure before the beginning of the work done by FAJ. With these efforts, the first surf camp was made, a strategy to build relationships with the community and positive spaces for recreation, the creation of the Caribe Fútbol Friends youth group, and the development of the Gotitas de Vida project, which seeks to educate to teachers, students and families with respect to diversity and inclusion was also made. The Gotitas de Vida group generated an artistic intervention at Pacuare High School and the group was awarded by the UNED.
Social projects of this level, manage to maximize devotion to materialize ideas, the creation of safe zones with young people, the construction of a collaborative social fabric, youth empowerment and the transformation of realities for a more just and inclusive society.
Let's build bridges of opportunity for our youth!