Even though Colombia has advanced in its fight against poverty, the social and economic inequalities faced by its population, especially in rural regions, is still abysmal. In 2001, when the Foundation started its operations, poverty in Cartagena de Indias mainly affected women and children. This is why our two strategic objectives are focused on reducing infant mortality and empowering adolescent mothers.
Our strategic objectives are aligned to three of the eight Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, created with the purpose of generating a more equal and inclusive world: promote gender equality, decrease infant mortality and improve maternal health. With only a few months left to fulfill these objectives, Colombia still faces great challenges in terms of teen pregnancy. Although it was expected that by 2015 the percentage of teenage pregnancy would be below 15%, the current figure is 19.5% according to the United Nations.
Teen pregnancy is a public health problem and one of the main perpetrators of poverty in the world, especially in countries with low and middle incomes. Globally, 20,000 children and adolescents give birth every day. In Colombia, according to figures from DANE, around 160,000 children of teenage mothers are born every year.
According to the United Nations, when a girl is pregnant her risk of living in poverty, exclusion and dependence increases due to: complications in pregnancy and childbirth, not being able to finish high school, being or becoming a victim of domestic and sexual violence, entering unfair and exploitative labor relations, and HIV/AIDS.
At Juanfe Foundation we understand that teen pregnancy arises because of a variety of complexities such as: