Widespread poverty and extreme violence hinder access to quality education as well as other basic services and opportunities. Poverty and violence are compounded by under-resourced public schools, with inadequate infrastructure, overcrowding, and many safety concerns. We invest in public schools throughout the region, through initiatives including: After-school programs, Mental Health Committees, Restorative Practices, Mindfulness, and Extreme Makeovers. We provide kids from marginalized communities with opportunities that enable them to stay in school and away from violence. Our goal is to create safe, healthy, dynamic, and stimulating environments that respond to students’ interests (i.e. sports, arts, academics, leadership and service, science, and technology) and develop core life skills in children and youth. These programs also integrate and empower communities, strengthening the social fabric by mobilizing students, teachers, parents, and volunteers, as partners in development.
Latin America is home not only to extreme rates of violence, poverty, and trauma, but also dramatic gender disparities, high rates of teen pregnancy, and limited access to healthcare services that are often low-quality. At Glasswing, we believe that we all have the potential to improve our communities’ public health outcomes. We invest in health throughout the region to enhance the quality of healthcare in clinics, hospitals, and communities, and providing children, youth, and adults with services that will improve their overall physical, mental, and emotional health. We implement Girls’ Clubs, aimed at shifting gender paradigms, building girls and young women’s confidence and other key social skills, providing comprehensive reproductive health education, as well as developing their financial and entrepreneurial capabilities. We also partnering with local companies, government, and communities to improve the quality of maternal child, nutrition, and community health services in rural communities. We train healthcare professionals and first responders in basic and advanced life support, as well as trauma-informed care. We also implement Sanando Heridas (Healing Wounds), a hospital-based violence prevention program, aimed at breaking the cycle of violence by educating survivors of violence about the physiological and emotional consequences of trauma, and providing them with the tools to manage them.
Employment and Entrepreneurship
Due to the relatively low rate of economic growth in the region in the last decade, employment opportunities are scarce, and income generation is difficult, particularly for young people between the ages of 16 to 29. As a result, it is estimated that one in four young people neither studies nor works. This lack of economic opportunity, coupled with the extreme rates of violence, extortion, and the resulting lack of mobility, thousands of young people are displaced from their communities and forced to migrate. Workforce development programs build young people’s life skills and enhance their employability, better preparing them to integrate into the formal economy. Through our programs – Jóvenes Constructores, Mujeres con Futuro, Jóvenes Emprendedores Sociales – we work with youth to believe in their own potential, reintegrate into the school system, participate in community service projects, and acquire the skills they need to access living wage jobs. Aside from the technical training, we also provide ongoing socio-emotional support to help them manage the multiple and complex challenges they face.
Public space is a vital component of a prosperous city. Well-designed and managed public spaces are a key asset for a city’s functionality and have a positive impact on its economy, health, climate, safety, integration, and connectivity. Working in some of the most violent regions in the world, the high rates of homicide and crime, increase citizens’ fear particularly in public transportation and public spaces, which contribute to low levels of civic participation, coupled with extreme social and political polarization and distrust. Through our public space revitalization programs, we empower citizens to actively participate in the creation, revitalization, and maintenance of public parks, schools, and health facilities.