SOS Children in Panama

Sponsorship sites in Panama

The Republic of Panama occupies a strategically important position in Central America with the Panama Canal running across it linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Panama has many social problems and inequalities, with around 40 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.

The charity has been working in Panama since 1982 when the first community was built on the north-western edge of Panama City in the former Canal Zone, on one of the first pieces of land returned to Panama by the Torrijos-Carter Agreement between the USA and Panama.

The charity community has thirteen family houses and four youth houses, which together are home to 150 children and young people. Other facilities include a basketball court and a baseball pitch which are used for national games as well as by children and young people from both the village and the neighbourhood. Vocational training opportunities have been provided with projects for breeding fish, chickens and geese. In 1997, an SOS vocational training centre for SOS mothers and staff was established.

A second community opened in 1990 in Penonomé, 150 km west of Panama City, with twelve family houses and a youth house. The charity has cultivated a large vegetable garden and surplus fruit and vegetables are now sold locally.

A third community opened in 1999 in David in the Chiriqui province in north Panama, one of the country's largest and most important cattle breeding centres. It is also an area of extreme poverty and severe social problems where there is little or no institutional care for destitute children. The village has twelve family houses and an SOS social centre providing day care for children from local families.

In 1994 it was decided to build 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 and also has a kindergarten, classrooms, a therapy room and sports facilities.

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Panama:
Asociación Aldeas Infantiles SOS de Panamá,
Camino Real de Bethania 604,
Apartado postal 6-4940,
El Dorado,
Panamá City
Tel: +507/261 30 44, +507/261 29 87
Fax: +507/261 91 24

Panama Child Sponsorship

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