Fund Center of Empowerment for Young Mothers for 3 years!
Organized by: Julia Selezneva
Hi I’m Julia. I am a 4th year medical student who is currently spending 2 months in La Paz, Bolivia doing a short qualitative research project with an organization called Center of Empowerment for Young Mothers, or “Centro de Apoyo Al Empoderamiento De Madres Jóvenes.” This is actually a day care center started by Dr. Cecilia Uribe de Chávez in El Alto, Bolivia in 2013. She started this center after meeting many teenage mothers from El Alto in her clinic, who would drop out of school once pregnant or take their kids on the streets while working. So she started this daycare for young mothers so that they can be able to attend school. In the meantime, Dr. Uribe provides health care to the children and their teenage mothers. This center has been incredibly helpful to the mothers who have thus participated. In fact, studies have shown that teenager mothers are at increased risk of not completing their education, a lower income, and living with a lot of discrimination and stigma. However, other studies have shown that with social support and opportunities, teenage mothers end up doing better in life - from more positive relationships with their children, to earning a higher status in life, to earning a higher income.
Furthermore, UNICEF now recognizes that the first three years of a child’s life are the most important of a child’s life for the rest of their development. This center provides just that - the right start for children until they join pre-school and kindergarten, in addition, to giving a chance for teenage mother to pursue her dreams. This center has been funded for the first three years (2013-2016) by Children Family Health International (https://www.cfhi.org/young-mothers-empowerment-center-emj). This wonderful support allowed for the daycare to obtain its supplies, recruit an incredible daycare attendant, hire an independent director for the day care (who was also a teenage mother and serves as an inspiration for others). In short, CFHI allowed for this daycare to become as awesome as it is today (check out the photos!!). However, their funding is coming to an end. Unfortunately, the center has not been able to secure additional funding, mostly because it is incredibly difficult to get governmental support here in Bolivia. In addition, it is not yet at a stage where the center can be self-sustaining. While here, I have tried twice to contact UNICEF in La Paz to tell them about this organization as it is directly in line with their current work on Early Child Life Development. Unfortunately, I have not heard back.
While I cannot yet discuss my results of my interviews with the mothers as I am still in the process of completing interviews, what I have learned so far is how incredibly important this center is to mothers. Whether its giving a mom an opportunity to complete her nursing degree or giving a child room to play who lives in a cramped one bedroom with 8 people. There are many programs in place to help prevent teenage pregnancy, but this is the only program that I know of in El Alto so far, that actually helps teenage mothers. To learn more about the center, please check out EMJcenter.org, this website was started by CHFI three years ago and all donates to the website goes to CFHI, who then donates it to the center. However, this ends this year.
The current annual spending of the day care is $12,000, or $1,000 a month. However, all of this is free for qualifying mothers.
The money goes into:
- Breakfast, lunch, and if child stays late, dinner, and 3 snacks per day. A lot of the children suffer from malnutrition and these are their only healthy meals.
- Salary for day care assistant
- Salary for director of day care center (also a young mom!) who is responsible for recruiting, managing, and in free time assists the day care assistant
- Supplies for the children such as: coloring pens, paper. A lot of the supplies for the day care have already been purchased. However, if an opportunity arises to expand, we will need to buy additional supplies, beds, tables, chairs.
- Health care is provided for free. Dr. Uribe sees all of her adolescent mothers and her children for free because they cannot afford payment. She maintains regular check-ups on all the children, and her office is only 2 blocks away from the day care.
Of note, I am not putting the name of my medical school on this website because my medical school is not affiliated with this fundraiser. However, if you want to confirm, feel free to message me or email me at email@example.com and I will provide more information as needed.
All of the money (minus the % deducted by Crowdrise) will go directly to the daycare. Currently, Dr. Uribe pays for a lot of the aspect of day care not covered by CFHI funding out of pocket. Unfortunately, the option to fundraise for charities on this website is only for US charities, and this is an international organization. I do not benefit in anyway, other than the personal benefit of feeling that I have helped somehow. Thank you for donating and any little bit helps!! Please do not hesitate to contact me for any additional questions or clarifications.