Molycop is funding psychosocial, vocational and entrepreneurial training for 10 socially and economically vulnerable women in Panama.Recovery from the COVID pandemic has been challenging for most. But for those already vulnerable to economic disadvantage the challenges have been considerable.
Reports have highlighted how the pandemic amplified uncertainty for vulnerable groups in Central America. In Panama, for example, women accounted for 43% of the almost 300,000 suspended employment contracts, the majority of whom were women of colour and those belonging to minority groups.
Even before the pandemic became a catalyst for urban inequality, Fundacion Calicanto worked to address social and economic disparities by providing life, entrepreneurial and job-skills training to women in Panama. Calicanto’s strategy focuses on increasing access to formal, comprehensive training for women to reduce their exposure to violence and multidimensional poverty factors, such as poor health, poor quality of work and little schooling or access to formal education. It successfully trains more than 100 women annually.
The women trained by Calicanto are part of the informal economy, have almost no formal education and sustain their homes as heads of families with an average of 2 to 5 children. They are often victims of mental and physical violence and seek autonomy to overcome the considerable challenges they face.
According to UN Women, “Women, girls and adolescents in Panama are vulnerable and disadvantaged regarding gender-based violence, economic empowerment, food security, political participation and representativeness” (UN Women, 2021). This makes giving women access to comprehensive support and training opportunities a pressing need.
Molycop funding empowers womenMolycop Panama is committed to supporting the wellbeing and future success of the local communities in which we work. That’s why we have partnered with NMT Global Project Logistics and Rapid Packaging to fund a program directly in support of women in the Colon area. Molycop is providing 50% towards the cost the program, with its partners contributing 25% each.
Molycop Panama’s goal is to make a lasting, positive contribution to local communities in the Colon area,” says Molycop Panama Operations Manager Geoffrey Veytia.
“Being able to effectively position resources back into the local community demonstrates that commitment. We seek out these types of meaningful and impactful community-based initiatives wherever possible, and the efforts and successes become a significant measure of our dedication to local community support.
Calicanto’s self-improvement model includes three levels of development, each implemented through a separate correlated program.One of these programs, Capacitación para el Trabajo (or Training for Work – CAPTA), is a 7-week hybrid course focused on empowering vulnerable women with professionally taught workshops on emotional intelligence, effective communication, leadership, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. These workshops are supplemented with frequent one-on-one counselling sessions with psychologists.
Vulnerable women given autonomyWith Molycop’s funding contribution, 10 women from the province of Colon will benefit from the program with the community guidance of COBRE Panama’s community liaisons. The CAPTA program will support the social and economic recovery efforts of Colon’s vulnerable female populations so they can pursue self-improvement as a pathway towards economic resilience and asset building.
The program has the following objectives:
- Guide women towards self-knowledge and conviction so they rely on themselves and their self-worth as they advance their personal goals.
- Provide the knowledge and tools necessary to reinforce women’s self- esteem.
- Promote a new culture of habits so women can improve their overall quality of life.
- Instruct women on better communication tools and mediation techniques to bolster proper social interaction and resolution of conflicts through positive interaction with others.
- Enable individual attitudes and vocational skills so they can better navigate job opportunities.
- Strengthen women’s entrepreneurial, finance and technological skills to facilitate job insertion and/or project development.
- Create a supportive network to further social cohesion and economic opportunities.
The program began in September 2023 and will run for five weeks.