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“We are getting people to understand the value of a girl in power. If she has good self-esteem, she can change everything and break the cycle of poverty.” – Ana Laura Araya

(click to tweet)

Empowering girls makes empowered women.

If we can teach the right values and skills to today’s youth, then tomorrow will bring a generation of leaders and trailblazers. However, this is easier said than done. In our country and most places worldwide, poverty makes teaching those values difficult. Our systems are not structured to think long-term, and most communities are nested inside of chaos.

On today’s episode of the $mart Women Invest podcast, we are joined by someone at the forefront of this battle. Ana Laura Araya is the Founder and Director of Soy Niña, a program dedicated to lowering the teen pregnancy rate in Costa Rica. Soy Niña teaches the first, second, and third grade girls of Costa Rica basic life skills: how should you approach conflict-resolution? How do you create a healthy relationship with your friends and family? What are good personal hygiene habits? When people start thinking about these questions while they’re young, they grow up to be the transformation of tomorrow.

“For the most part, a teen pregnancy is not a wanted choice that the girl decides. It’s an unwanted pregnancy. So it’s a girl who has no control over her decisions.” – Ana Laura Araya

(click to tweet)

Points to Keep In Mind

  • The average cost of raising a child is $15,000/year or $245,000 for their lifetime.
  • According to the first USDA report in 1960, the cost of raising a child to age 18 was $25,000.
  • Put your goals on paper to give them a higher chance to be made a reality.
  • Statistics are hard to work with because different institutes say different things.
  • 14,000 girls per year get pregnant before the age of 18 in Costa Rica.
  • Latin America is the only region of the world with an increasing teen pregnancy rate.
  • Improper relationships are when the man is significantly older than the girl.
  • You have a 90% chance of repeating the circle of poverty if you get pregnant as a teenager, do not marry the father, and don’t finish high school.
  • In Costa Rica there is not much awareness of this problem.
  • With Soy Niña, teaching empowerment and values preempts the need for sex education.
  • In Costa Rica, families fund the male’s growth because of gender inequality.
  • Find collaborators who have the same passion as you.

Guest Contact

Ana Laura Araya, Soy Niña

Facebook: Soy Niña

Twitter: @soyninacr

Text  ‘INVESTING’ to 555-888 for our white page on tax reform


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