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Libélula is a non-governmental organization located in the Brazilian town of Itacaré, along the "Cacau Coast" in the state of Bahia. We work to create a safe space and provide psycho-social support for adolescent girls in the area and to supplement their education with various classes provided at our center.
Itacaré is a small beach town that has recently–within the past decade–seen a huge surge in tourism due to its beautiful beaches and overall natural beauty. This tourism–in spite of bringing many economic benefits for the residents of Itacaré–also has significant cultural and environmental impacts on the town, and contributes to various socio-cultural problems in the community. Many of the girls we work with assume domestic responsibilities in their houses at a very young age, as they often stay home to care for their younger siblings to allow their mothers to work.
They are often initiated into sex very early, and are sometimes subjected to violence and abuse. With very limited access to sexual education, condoms or contraceptives, teen pregnancy is very common. The educational system in Itacaré is substandard, and in general the girls we work with come from poorer families, with few opportunities for a better future. Our goal is to help them delay pregnancy and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pursue education and employment skills that might give them a better chance for success in the local economy.