Last Friday, Josie Ramos, Program Manager of GOJoven and Gabriela Flores, Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras, joined leaders from business, philanthropy, government and civil society at the 2013 Central American Donors Forum held at the Inter-American Development Bank headquarters in Washington DC.
Organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Seattle International Foundation, the forum brought together donors and development experts working in Central America to discuss priority issues, successful models and opportunities for co-investment in Central America.
Gabriela Flores, a GOJoven graduate from 2006 who is now the Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras, was invited to present on the work that GOJoven Honduras does to address adolescent pregnancy. In her panel presentation, Gabriela spoke about how GOJoven youth leaders are helping youth access more information and education around their sexual and reproductive rights. In a country where talk of sexual and reproductive health is viewed as taboo, Gabriela and her fellow youth leaders are working with the Advocacy Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, comprised of 13 Honduran organizations and founded by participants of PHI’s AGALI program to help teachers, government leaders and members of the community to better implement comprehensive sex education curriculum on a national level.
With increasingly limited funding to sexual and reproductive health programs in Central America, Gabriela’s presentation highlighted the fact that adolescent pregnancy rates have steadily risen in Honduras from 22% in 2005, to 25% in 2011. This means that 1 in 4 teenage girls has been pregnant before they turned 19. Too often, decision makers ask how these high teenage pregnancy rates affect the development of the country. Gabriela turned the question on its head, asking how it is that poor development in Honduras affects the educational and employment options for young women.
Gabriela’s presentation was part of a series of presentations dedicated to highlighting programs investing in adolescent girls. To take a look at Gabriela’s presentation, click here. Other presentations at the forum, included: Opportunities for Collaboration with the Business Sector and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
While in DC, Gabriela and Josie had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Department of State, USAID, International Development Bank, the Inter-American Foundation and Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Office. Thank you to each of these offices for taking the time to meet with us.