2018 mid-year report

   

2018 Mid-Year Report

The first half of this year has seen a steady progress by Fénix members and beneficiaries, with academic milestones passed, jobs consolidated and new girls welcomed.

Disney formally graduated as a Social Worker and began a full-time job with a larger sister foundation that works with extremely excluded high risk street people, gaining intensive professional experience in difficult areas, as well as increasingly taking on organizational tasks with Fénix.

Angélica found a job in SOS Children´s Villages working with families in a poor district of Soacha, where she is rapidly gaining experience and confidence in her skills and is a valued member of their outreach team. She has registered for a new university entrance exam later in the year and hopes to gain a place for a Social Work degree.

Zarina received her postgraduate specialist qualification in Health Care Auditing, plans on taking a further diploma this year and is applying for hospital staff jobs in dentistry. She plans eventually to set up her own consulting room, where she can provide free treatment for street girls, bring them into contact with the rest of the team and engage them with processes of change and exit from street life.

Viviana graduated with a Masters in Public Health and has been promised a promotion. She is currently managing a team of sixteen people responsible for providing to patients the authorizations for procedures, tests and medications, and advises surgeons on whether patients qualify for certain interventions.

Staff nurse Kilyam is taking her postgraduate specialization in Epidemiology while running primary care programmes for mainly indigenous communities in the Amazon.

Paola is a Social Worker with the central city children and youth programmes of the YMCA-ACJ and is applying for a place on a postgraduate degree in Public Policy.

About to start the final semester of secondary school, Daniela has completed the eighteen-month course of daily English classes at the Centro Colombo-Americano on a scholarship, and is now remarkably fluent. She intends next to take their Advanced Grammar course in preparation for possibly starting a teaching degree next year.

Yenifer is now with one of the most prestigious Bogotá hospitals as a Nurse-Auditor of care quality and plans to continue to a Masters in Medical Education, with a view to University teaching.

Lady Johana, while taking a higher education certificate course in Human Resources, is working for the principal HIV prevention, education and testing programme in a Panamerican Health Organization investigation of HIV prevention methodology: “It is a new experience for me to work in research, and with more responsibility”.

Indira continues in high school, also coming every Saturday for additional tutoring in the regular Fénix classes taught by Ezana, Andrés and Beatriz.

Two new girls have been brought into to these classes by other members, Erika and Angie, as well as Oriana, who Fénix has also helped with the cost of a preparation course for the National University entrance exam. Angie, in 10th grade, wants to become a physical education teacher and already gives training classes to her school friends. Oriana, a young activist in the civil-society movement supporting the Colombian peace process, plans to study law.

Two other Fénix girls, Lizeth and Eunise, have now gone to the US for intensive English immersion.

We were delighted to have a visit from Ashley Garcia, five years ago a volunteer with Fénix and who came back from the US this June for a conference in Bogotá to present a paper from her PhD research.

Samantha Joeck, another former volunteer, whose experience of street work with us led her into her masters research on harassment of women, has now come back to Colombia for her PhD field-work.

These are not dramatic leaps forward, but rather are steady academic and professional advances in the construction of careers and building a nucleus of health and social care professionals, who are also organizing foundation activities and bringing in younger girls who will, we hope, ensure generational renewal in Fénix.

Again, we would like to give our thanks to all the people and organizations who continue to support us and make it possible for vulnerable Colombian girls to become the skilled professionals who change other lives.