July 28th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica’s child welfare agency, known as PANI, has allocated 627 scholarships worth ¢518 million for the 2014 period to help keep teenage mothers in school and achieve an education.
PANI spokesperson, Fanny Cordero, said that in addition to the grants which have been awarded, the institute has a number of socio-educational workshops and other services that will be provided to adolescent mothers for the remainder of the year.
More than 300 teenage mothers are expected to participate in the workshops in various areas of the country.
The workshops include life coaching and mentoring in the areas of health, education, entrepreneurship, child rearing, self-esteem and other issues facing adoloscent mothers.
In addition, PANI has a toll-free helpline at 800-2262626 that provides emotional support as well as career and legal counseling to both adolescent mothers and their families. The service is free, and phones are staffed between Monday and Friday from 7am to 10pm. The hotline even has psychologists on staff to provide personalized counseling and emotional support.
The hotline received 5,418 calls last year.
In 2011 (the latest data available), the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) reported 13,867 births to teenage mothers, 476 of whom were under the age of 15.