Starting this week, the Costa Rican National Children’s Trust (PANI) made 1,500 scholarships available to adolescent and pregnant mothers, of ₡ 100,000 each, with the aim of keeping them in the educational system.The subsidy will be granted throughout the school year so that they “work on their personal empowerment and on breaking the cycle of poverty and violence.”
The scholarship is one of the components of the Program for the Reintegration and Permanence of the Adolescent Mother in the educational system, which also has a free hotline (800-2262626) where psychosocial and legal support is given.
In addition to the subsidy, socio-formative workshops are given in which they recognize their capacities, aptitudes, abilities, and educational campaigns to raise awareness, report and not normalize adolescent pregnancy.
The requirements to obtain the scholarship are:
Being under 18 years old, be enrolled in an educational modality of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), be a mother or be pregnant, comply with the vulnerability factors contemplated in the scholarship regulations educational (they are valued by the Local Office) and submit an application to the local office of the corresponding Board of Trustees.
According to information provided by the PANI, during 2020, 2,310 adolescent mothers and / or pregnant women received scholarships, 6,559 calls were answered on the toll-free line 800-2262626 and in the 55 local offices, they were provided with psychosocial and legal support.
For this year the resources are budgeted for 2,500 scholarships, however, there are 1,000 scholarships that were extended from 2020, so there are 1,500 available that must be assigned for the first time, ideally, before the first quarter of this year.
For more information about the scholarships
High risk still present
The Board of Trustees indicated that although teenage pregnancy has decreased in the last five years (in 2015 there were 11,610, in 2019 there were 8040 and in the first half of 2020 there were 3,184), there are still thousands of teenage mothers who are victims of improper relationships, sexual abuse, violence and are exposed to a greater risk of death.
The Minister of Children and Adolescents, Gladys Jiménez Arias, indicated that: “Continuing with the reduction of adolescent pregnancy and eradicating it is everyone’s responsibility. Eliminate stereotypes, stop normalizing situations of violence, eradicate improper relationships and generate social autonomy, all with the effective participation of girls and adolescents in decision-making, are positive actions for girls and adolescents to enjoy their integral development”.