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Presentation for the American Chamber of Commerce – Costa Rica October 15, 2009 Making a Difference: The Casa Luz Story.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation for the American Chamber of Commerce – Costa Rica October 15, 2009 Making a Difference: The Casa Luz Story."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation for the American Chamber of Commerce – Costa Rica October 15, 2009 Making a Difference: The Casa Luz Story

2 Presenters: Eldon Cooke – Founder/Board Member of Casa Luz and owner of Hotel Grano de Oro Marianela Chaves – Executive Director of Casa Luz Dr. Gary Pletcher – Director, Global Business & Social Justice Institute at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas

3 The Problem The Solution – the founding of Casa Luz Casa Luz – current operations and future plans What people are saying about us The need

4 41% of births in Costa Rica are to single mothers In 2005, a government agency (PANI) reported that over 17,000 of these mothers are adolescents girls ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Many of these adolescents were forced into prostitution Most of the child prostitutes in Costa Rica begin before their 12th birthday and 82% were sexually abused at home before turning to prostitution.* *UNICEF report

5 Founded in 2003 by Eldon and Lori Cooke Used personal funds to establish the center Provides a safe haven for teenage women who have been victims of sexual abuse and exploitation

6 Mission To break the cycle of abuse and exploitation of children To provide a safe haven and a loving Christian environment for adolescent mothers and their children To offer physical, emotional, and spiritual support, as well as education in parental and vocational skills To ensure the successful transition of young families to productive independence

7 Phase I - Learning self worth in a fully assisted living environment Phase II - Learning independence in a semi- independent environment Ultimate goal – Fully independent living

8 15 single family rooms under one roof A large, common area, a kitchen, classrooms, nursery, play area, daycare, and laundry facility Professional staff: Director Social worker Psychologist Two teachers (including special education) 24 hour support for the families Phase I – Learning self worth

9 Across the street from Phase I Two families live in a two bedroom semi-independent apartment Four apartments already built and more are planned Need additional funds to complete Phase II – Learning independence

10 Continue construction of Phase II apartments Continue to implement specialized computer training programs that will help the mothers to gain professional working skills Introduction of a cottage industry to improve self- esteem and job skills The construction of a daycare facility with social and classroom space for Casa Luz families and the community Whats Coming

11 My Casa Luz experience…

12 Claudia (Resident) The Cookes (Casa Luz Founders) have given me the opportunity to study and learn and leave this shelter further educated and better prepared as an individual to face life…I truly enjoy learning...

13 Anita (Staff Member) One of my greatest accomplishments and satisfaction was my involvement in helping a young child who has cerebral palsy...I assisted with his overall health and it has been a very rewarding experience for me and has taught me to love life and feel a sense of satisfaction.

14 Katherine (Phase Two Resident) …my experience at Casa Luz was very difficult overall but very important to me…I learned how to love myself as a person and was introduced to a spiritual lifestyle through God…Thanks to God and Casa Luz, I am a better person and more responsible individual…I truly want to thank the Cookes, Casa Luz, and all its staff for their help and support.

15 Costa Rica Department of Children Services (PANI) The Council of Social Protection (JPS) Hotel Grano de Oro Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica La Republica Samaritans Purse of Canada Alumni and friends of St. Edwards University Rockpointe Church (Alberta, Canada) Family and friends of the Founders Personal donations from the Founders [The Founders contribute 76% of annual operating funds] Current Sources of Funding and Support

16 The Need Current Funding Level Projected Expenses for the next 3 years

17 Unique: One of three non-profit organizations of this kind recognized and supported by Patronato Nacional De La Infancia (PANI) Specialized: Casa Luz provides the most comprehensive programming for both adolescent mothers and their children to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. Why Support Casa Luz?

18 Efficient: Lean operation - 81% of funds donated for operations go towards providing specific programs for the mothers Committed: Casa Luz is committed to ensuring the best care for those who have been assigned under their guardianship Why Support Casa Luz?

19 A generous donation of $5,000 would provide an apartment for two families for 1 year

20 Donations: $6,000 yr $7,200 yr Provides: Clothing and medical expenses for 10 mothers & children for 1 year Education services for 10 mothers & children for 1 year Repair and maintenance of living facilities for 5mothers & children for 1 year Food for 5 mothers & children for almost 4 weeks

21 Time: Volunteers either onsite or offsite to assist with mother, children, facility Resources: Computers, education computer programs Supplies: School supplies, clothing, food, building materials, household items Training: Volunteers to train mothers and/or children in various trades and skills

22 Visit us at


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