Monday, July 27, 2015

Helping Schools in Panama -Bocas Del Toro

We collect school supplies and give them out to communities in need as we travel. We do this with help of friends and family back in Canada. Our blog page for that is Right to Write Ministry . This week we had the pleasure of touring three schools here in Panama. These schools students are from the Ngobe - Bugle peoples of Western Panama.
The first two schools we visited get some help from a wonderful organization here Give and Surf . They currently have volunteers building two new classrooms.
But help is never enough. Once they build the classrooms they will have to come up with $500 a month for at least a year to pay the teachers. The government will not contribute until they think the school is viable and has a certain number of students.
Classes are given for pre-school and grades 1-6 (all in one classroom with one teacher).
The third school we visited it government supported, when they get money.
There are very few students in grade 7-9. After grade six many boys have to leave to work and help get money for the family. And many girls are lost at this very young age to pregnancy. Or in to continue past grade 9 the student must travel into Bocas Town by water taxi. And simply many families cannot afford this "luxury", so they stop attending.
The government is supposed to provide money for lunches for the children daily. But often this does not happen. The one school had not received any money at all this year, it is July ! Mothers take turns making lunches for the kids with what they have or what is donated.
My husband has put together a video of our visit. It can be seen  at this link.

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