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Panama

In 1994, SOS Children's Villages built an SOS Transit Home - a half-way house - in Colón, north west of Panama City, to help parents unable to look after their own children for reasons such as drug addiction or imprisonment. The first such facility in Panama, it can provide temporary accommodation for up to fifty children in urgent need of help … more about our charity work in Panama

Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Panama City, Panama

Sponsored child from Panama
Sponsored child from Panama

A child sponsorship report from Panama City in Panama. Written in 2009.

Dear friends and sponsors,

Like every year for us is a pleasure to salute and send you a warm greeting from all children and young people from the SOS Children's Village Panama, and also thank you for all the support you always have given us.

This year 2009, we started with many expectations and proposed goals that we hope we can meet them successfully because, without your unconditional support and all your generosity that you always have given year after year, it would be impossible to achieve.

Today our population is 135 children in the village and 16 youths in the youth communities, of which there is a youth community for girls and one for boys.

This year, only 3 young people have gone to live in the youth communities, since we are focused on their work process of maturation and independence. In the year: 7 young people were reintegrated with their biological families and in the month of April:  5 children were admitted. These are a group of 4 biological siblings living in the house No.12 and a child in the house No. 4 sharing with his SOS siblings, being now the younger of his house.

In addition this year our country is in great expectations, since, earlier this month was the new President of the Republic elections. It is carrying out the Panama Canal expansion, which for us is very important, because these actions greatly strengthens further development of tourism and expanding the workforce for Panamanians. Another project being undertaken in the country:  it is the coastal belt, with the aim of modernizing the different accesses to the main points of the capital city and also be an area for tourism and recreation for all citizens.

This year the summer season began with much enthusiasm and fun for our children, youth, mothers and aunts, enjoying the most of all activities. In the month of February a group of thirteen Medicine students from the University of Panama, visited the village and made a sharing activity in which they enjoyed with the children. They gave them stuffed toy animals and candies. It was a day of games, entertainment and lots of fun.

We also received another visit from the community development staff of the United States Embassy, which shared many sweets and school supplies were delivered to our children. They also had a village’s green areas cleaning days, in which they interact and share nice moments. The children were very excited.

We received a visit from a group of 9 young students and 2 professors from the United World College Costa Rica, who developed an exchange program loaded with many educational, recreational and sporting activities.

We emphasize that all young people participated in all activities: with love and affection for our children, taught them to make art pictures with nature materials (leaves, dried fruits, dried flowers, seeds and wood scraps). Also they showed them how to make pizza, while they were sharing their experiences.

Mothers, aunts, and especially children were delighted, since there were a mutual empathy, young children got to spend a wonderful week, was so much that they shared that the children did not wanted that the young students to leave the village.

A group of mothers and aunts also did their recreation and leisure activities, they were to a trip to the beach located on Isla Grande, in the Colón Province, (this is an island located at the Caribbean Sea at 3 hours from the village). They were so excited and enjoyed so much that they wanted to return.

Our children were also invited to a Tihany circus activity for the Miss Panama: semi-finals and final contest where they supported the Chiriqui province contestant.

A group of 25 children aged between 6 and 12 years were invited to the Contemporary Art Museum, where they had a tour across the facility, saw the exhibits and took photographs, among others.

After the end of the summer season, school year starts. This year a group of 12 boys and girls had begun their school classes for the first time at the pre-nursery and nursery. They looked very enthusiastic and animated with they little lunch boxes in their shoulders and each accompanied with their very nervous SOS aunts and some aunts with tears in their eyes imagining how would be the first day of school for their children.

On April 20 of this year, we celebrated our SOS Children's Village of Panama: 27th foundation anniversary. We began the day with a thanksgiving Mass in which all children participated with their SOS mothers and aunts in the Santa Martha Church. After that in the afternoon: recreational activities were conducted for children. We were entertained by a dancing children group, which make the children sing, dance and play. The birthday song was sung to the village and the children enjoyed breaking a `piñata´. It was an entire afternoon of fun and entertainment.

Finally we hope that this information fill their expectations regarding the work we do in the village and that thanks to your invaluable contribution  we are fulfilling our goals and objectives proposed for the benefit of children and young people from the SOS Children's Village Panama.

Many thanks and all-powerful God may fill your family with many blessings.

Roberto Watson
village director
SOS Children Village Panama