Ecuador has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the South American region. It is considered a social and public health problem, revealing inequalities, social injustice, and a violation of human rights. Risk of teenage motherhood is increased among teenagers with low educational attainment. Thus, education is of utmost importance.
Fundacion Avanzar is in the privileged position of having outstanding volunteers, among them Melina Ammann. Within the framework of her Swiss high school diploma (Maturität), Melina developed an aid project aimed at teenage girls. The short-term goals of the project are to provide support to the young mothers and to reduce their feelings of stress and helplessness. The long-term goals are to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases, and to reduce domestic violence. Another goal is to have more women graduate from school, pursue an education to achieve financial independence and as a result increase their self-confidence .
Each workshop accommodates 14-18 girls who are recruited via Facebook, some are the daughters of women participating in our programs, or have taken refuge in a home for battered girls or other institutions with which we cooperate time and again. The workshop is held by a psychologist approx. 5 to 6 times per year.