They are friends, daughters, sisters, and one day many will become mothers. They are students, and will one day become teachers, nurses, lawyers, doctors, artists. We believe in our young women and empowering them to be themselves, to believe in themselves!
Our NPH Dominican Republic Chicas Poderosas group. Photo by Jaime Fernández.
Chicas Poderosas, ‘Powerful Girls’, is a Family Services core program that creates a safe environment for our young women to ask questions about life, and discuss the challenges that come with being a girl in today’s society and also in communities where machismo is alive and present. Especially in their teenage years, girls have a million questions, and we want them to keep asking.
The program in each home looks a little different, but what matters to us is that they keep meeting, talking and supporting each other in female fellowship.
Last year, the average number of girls involved in a Chicas program was: Mexico: 28, Guatemala: 50, DR: 25, Nicaragua: 30, Honduras: 132.
That means in 2016, 265 girls were growing, learning and leaning on each other through the program.
Hear from them.
Lisseth*, 19, from Nicaragua
What does it mean to you to be a woman? “For me, it means to be someone capable of accomplishing what she wants, to fight for good with integrity, to feel worthy of oneself and value oneself…”
What hopes do you have for the girls of NPH? “I believe they are very intelligent and that they have a lot to offer. I hope they graduate in their careers, support each other and their biological families, since pequeñas don’t forget where they came from, and keep the humility that God has given them.” Read on.
Jacqueline*, 19, from the DR
“Even though I do not have any sisters of my own, I view every pequeña as my sister…Through Chicas Poderosas I have learned to believe in myself and my abilities; I have learned my prowess and how to defend my rights as a woman and as a person. The challenges I face and even the ones I have yet to defeat have made me stronger than I was before. I am now ready to help others do the same.” Read on.
Aracely*, 17, from Honduras
“I think me and other girls my age here,” Aracely explains, “are examples by showing our maturity, and also things like why sharing or compassion are important…I remember when I was little and looked up to girls who were as old as I am now. People would always tell me, ‘Oh, when you are in 9th grade, you’ll see.'” Read on.
Marisela*, 19, from Mexico
“I always try to remind my peers that the bad in life can change for the better. I know this is true because it already has been for me…I look forward to going to Chicas Poderosas because it helps me realize who I am as a person and how I can achieve my highest potential.” Read on.
This International Women’s Day, we honor all of our young women – what they have been through, what they stand for, who they are and all they are becoming.
We are #ProudofOurChicas!
Have a wonderful International Women’s Day this March 8th, 2017.
The NPHI Family Services Team
*Names changed for privacy purposes.