"You can be anything" – many young girls and women from the Barbie blockbuster have probably taken this sentence with them this summer. Unfortunately, this encouraging statement is still an unattainable goal for many girls and women in 2023. Access to education alone makes this path fail. This also affects many girls and women in the rural areas of our coffee countries of origin, such as Guatemala. That's why we have been working with our partner Coffee Care in Guatemala since 2011 to improve the living conditions of farming families. We place a special focus on the empowerment of women and the protection of children – from better education to more child protection and additional sources of income.
On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child 2023, we would like to introduce you to the program "Abriendo Oportunidades" in Guatemala. Together with Coffee Care, we have been able to open up new opportunities for more than 70 young girls in the coffee communities of the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala this year alone.
This program is an initiative that focuses on empowering young indigenous girls and adolescents in rural areas of Guatemala. It aims to provide them with educational opportunities, life skills, and support to help them overcome social and economic challenges, particularly now that more and more women have become responsible for the coffee crops due to increase male migration to the United Sates.
The program was designed to address issues such as early marriage, teen pregnancy, and limited access to education that disproportionately affect girls in these communities. By offering mentorship, education, and community engagement activities, Abriendo Oportunidades seeks to promote positive outcomes for young girls and empower them to make informed decisions about their lives.
“Quiero que Abriendo Oportunidades dure para siempre. He aprendido de temas que ni en mi casa ni en la escuela nos enseñan” (Yamileth, Grupo Margaritas)
“I want Abriendo Oportunidades to last forever. I have learned things that are never taught neither at school nor at home” (Yamileth, Margaritas Group)
Abriendo Oportunidades, a Population Council’s original program, was awarded the United Nation Populations Fund medal for developing and refining non-formal educational opportunities for rural adolescent girls.
Want to learn more? Then take a look!
You go, girl and happy International Day of the Girl Child!