Promoting female empowerment and accompanying girls and adolescents in the construction of a life project are initiatives close to Fundación Tropicalia, which now joins the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the creation of a Girls Club “Fabricando Sueños" (Making Dreams), an initiative developed for the communities of the municipality of Miches, El Seibo province. The objective is to provide girls and adolescents with the necessary tools for timely decision-making and the definition of life projects as opposed to pregnancy or unions at an early age.
This joint effort marks an important milestone for Fundación Tropicalia and UNFPA, as it brings to the municipality a program oriented towards results already proven in other Latin American countries and in other provinces in the south and east of the country. Additionally, this alliance allows the Foundation to continue supporting the girls who graduated from the Soy niña, soy importante camp, which empowers girls from 9 to 12 years old through educational, didactic and fun activities.
This new initiative will have an initial phase of six months with 50 girls between the ages of 13 and 15. Community leaders, local authorities and family members will also be part of this project, in order to coordinate efforts to promote a friendly environment in which the rights of adolescent girls are respected.
The Fabricando Sueños (Making Dreams) Girls Club strengthens the work of Fundación Tropicalia in favor of the girls and adolescents of Miches, supporting them in their development through education and love. During the program, they will be able to learn about the effects and risks of an early union, as well as how to protect themselves from having an unintended pregnancy and various lessons that will help them on their way to having the life they want. These workshops will be taught by UNFPA-trained community mentors, who will serve as a role model and inspiration for the girls because of their ability to overcome in the same environment.
In his words, William R. Phelan, president of Fundación Tropicalia, said: "With Soy niña, soy importante, we have been able to prove that only through education can we generate social transformations with a generational impact. Working with our girls has shown us that investing in their development is the key to creating change in society. This is why, at Fundación Tropicalia, we feel committed to creating new opportunities that can provide a healthy environment to form confident and independent girls and adolescents.”
The fight for the rights of Dominican children has been one of the cornerstones of the Foundation's activities since its inception. The Dominican Republic is among the countries in the region with the highest adolescent fertility rate, with 94.3 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. “The critical situation reflected in these statistics demands joint efforts to generate change, which is why UNFPA is an ideal ally, in line with its mandate to promote initiatives that generate transformative results, and promote awareness in society to ensure zero harmful practices against women and girls, through various projects such as "Fabricando Sueños" (Making Dreams)," said Sonia Vasquez, UNFPA National Representative. "This partnership represents a step closer to the realization of dreams and the full development of girls and adolescents in the community of Miches. We are excited to contribute to a social change that promotes equality and guarantees the rights of girls and adolescents and impacts their families and the community".
For both Fundación Tropicalia and UNFPA, the desire is not simply to do a social action, but to inspire positive change in the lives of these girls, influencing their families and transforming their communities.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the United Nations agency dedicated to reproductive health and rights. UNFPA contributes to a world in which every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person achieves their full potential.
About Fundación Tropicalia and SNSI
Fundación Tropicalia promotes sustainable development in Miches, a coastal community located in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, through the design and implementation of innovative, high-impact projects in four main areas: Environment, Education, Productivity and Socio-cultural Support; the latter with the objective of promoting the integral development of the inhabitants, cultural values and gender equality.
Soy niña, soy importante is an initiative of Fundación Tropicalia that since 2013 accompanies girls living in vulnerable conditions in Miches, El Seibo, with the purpose of protecting their childhood, guiding them to encourage assertive decision-making, and educating them and their community about their rights.