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Presentation for the American Chamber of Commerce – Costa Rica October 15, 2009. Making a Difference: . The Casa Luz Story. Today’s Presentation. Presenters: Eldon Cooke – Founder/Board Member of Casa Luz and owner of Hotel Grano de Oro Marianela Chaves – Executive Director of Casa Luz

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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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Today’s Presentation Rica

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


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Today’s Presentation Rica

  • The Problem

  • The Solution – the founding of Casa Luz

  • Casa Luz – current operations and future plans

  • What people are saying about us

  • The need


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The Problem Rica

  • 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


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Founding Rica

  • 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


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the “house of light” Rica

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


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The “House of Light” Rica

  • 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


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The “House of Light” Rica

Phase I – Learning self worth

  • 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


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The “House of Light” Rica

Phase II – Learning independence

  • 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


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The “House of Light” Rica

What’s Coming

  • 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


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The “House of Light” Rica

My Casa Luz experience…


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The “House of Light” Rica

Claudia (Resident)

“The Cooke’s (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...”


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The “House of Light” Rica

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.”


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The “House of Light” Rica

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.”


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The “House of Light” Rica

Current Sources of Funding and Support

  • 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

  • Samaritan’s Purse of Canada

  • Alumni and friends of St. Edward’s University

  • Rockpointe Church (Alberta, Canada)

  • Family and friends of the Founders

  • Personal donations from the Founders

    [The Founders contribute 76% of annual operating funds]


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The “House of Light” Rica

The Need

Current Funding Level

Projected Expenses for the next 3 years


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The “House of Light” Rica

Why Support Casa Luz?

  • 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.


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The “House of Light” Rica

Why Support Casa Luz?

  • 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


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Why Rica your support is important

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


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Why Rica your support is important

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


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Other Ricadonations

  • 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


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Ricathe house of light”

Visit us at www.casaluz.org