How we’re helping create better job opportunities for young people in the Americas
By Gretchen Robleto Lupiac, PICMCA regional knowledge manager coordinator
What happens when young women start believing a better future is possible? They dare to dream.
Daniela (above, left), 18, was planning to leave Nicaragua a few months ago. She thought it was her best option due to high unemployment rates — one of the main catalysts for irregular migration.
“My family and I have been going through a difficult situation, and I thought by migrating I could help my family,” the young woman told me. “I already had everything ready.”
Migrating alone, irregularly, could have exposed Daniela to violence, exploitation or worse. Luckily, the teen had a change of heart after taking part in the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada-supported Regional Young Female Entrepreneurs Summit in El Salvador.
Workshops with female entrepreneurs, their narratives and images of inspiring role models, motivated Daniela to keep strengthening her positive self-concept, self-control, analytical skills — all of which are likely to increase her chances of building a successful business. Today, she’s thinking positively about her future.
“I realized there are opportunities; I learned a lot from women who did not migrate to another country and managed to get ahead. Now I plan to open a food business, which I believe can grow into a restaurant.”
Inspiration, networking and learning help young women like Daniela grow and thrive by addressing two root causes of irregular migration — unemployment and hope for a better life.
It’s why Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), is leading the Global Affairs Canada-funded Preventing Irregular Child Migration project in Mexico and Central America (PICMCA, CONFIO in Spanish). It’s improving the well-being of children and youth at risk of irregular migration through seminars like the one Daniela attended.
PICMCA addresses challenges holding young females (and males) back from feeling economically empowered and self-resilient, so they’re motivated to stay in their home countries and contribute to their community’s development.
It’s been uplifting meeting young women like Daniela who are identifying and setting realistic goals they can achieve, nurturing positive beliefs about their future and themselves.
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Preventing Irregular Child Migration in Central America (PICMCA):
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is leading a $15.2-million regional project in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, designed to improve the well-being of children and youth who are at risk of irregular migration. The Government of Canada is contributing $12.6 million to the four-year project. The initiative addresses a number of the root causes that fuel irregular migration — from high levels of crime and violence, limited employment and educational opportunities, to social exclusion and a lack of information on the inherent dangers of migrating without following the normal immigration procedures. For this project, CCFC is partnering with two non-governmental organizations: ChildFund International-USA and Educo.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada works globally to support children and youth who dream of a better world. For nearly 60 years, we’ve brought together diverse people and partnerships, driven by a common belief: education extends beyond the walls of a classroom and is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world. We focus on breaking barriers preventing access to inclusive, quality education for all, especially girls.