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Fe y Alegria in Panama

Historical summary
Lines of action
Achievements
New challenges
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Historical summary


Fe y Alegría en Panamá (6Kb)Fe y Alegria Panamá was founded in 1965.  In its first years it established primary schools for the most impoverished urban population; the earliest centers are the Curundu school in the capital, and the school called “El Silencio” in Bocas del Toro.


In 1966 vocational or professional schools were seen as a priority, schools which would train people for immediate jobs opportunities.  Thus was created the “El Ingenio” Vocational School, located in a zone that at that time suffered great economic and educational backwardness.  Later years saw more importance placed on community and cultural work; in 1975 emphasis was placed anew on formal schooling.  Between 1978 and 1981 there was an important development, namely the promotion of production projects which were linked to processes of formation and organization.  Many projects were initiated throughout the country.  Also, Fe y Alegria redirected its attention to non-formal popular education, community organization, training of adults and Indian leaders, as well as development projects.


In 1993 an in-depth evaluation of the achievements and the general context led Fe y Alegria to reaffirm its work with the Indian population.  An inter-ethnic conference was held, and strong support was given to the projects of the Indian communities, with a focus on production, formation and organization.  Starting in 1997 Fe y Alegria initiated a “refounding” process, in light of the needs presented by the national situation and by Fe y Alegria itself.  A new organizational structure was established and two integrating priorities were visualized: technical and vocational education for marginalized young people and accompaniment of Indian and small-farmer communities in the process of economic and cultural development.


Lines of action

  1. Educational area: Professional technical training, modular education, formation for women, informal education.
  2. Area of institutional planning and development: Community organization, organic agriculture, environmental education, sustainable development.
  3. Area of economy of solidarity: Small businesses and credits.
  4. Institutional relations:  Agreements, exchanges and cooperation.


Achievements

  1. The continual search for new pedagogical methods in formal education, especially those that train in and for work that is liberating and productive and a means for personal fulfillment and community growth.
  2. The establishment of three new educational centers: the Center for the Formation of Women, in Villalobos, and the Fr Joaquin Lopez y Lopez Professional Technical Center, in Las Mañanitas (Province of Panama); and the St Peter Claver Agricultural School (Province of Colon).
  3. The guidance and support of Indian communities (in Darien and Chiriqui) and of Afro-panamanian communities (in the outskirts of the cities of Panama and Colon), by providing appropriate formation and training in projects which respond to their productive and social needs.
  4. The preparation of groups of beneficiaries in the preparation, planning, execution and evaluation of projects and programs.
  5. The implementation of an intervention strategy which clearly stipulates the stages to be developed, the respective responsibilities of the communities and Fe y Alegria, and the temporary nature of the projects.
  6. The coordination of the activities of Fe y Alegria with the pastoral teams in the areas of work, as well as with other organizations, with the aim of avoiding duplication of efforts and achieving the greatest benefit for all the participants.
  7. The participation, along with educators who work among the poor, in a process of continued education and a search for new alternatives and proposals for popular education.
  8. An appropriate response to the needs of the most disadvantaged population in the form of work plans in the areas of integral formal popular education, integral non-formal popular education (in the Indian and Afro-panamanian communities) and services.
  9. New institutional relationships at the national and international level, and the development of a new institutional image for Fe y Alegria in Panama.


New challenges

  1. Intensifying activities in: a) vocational technical education for job placement of marginalized youth and value-oriented formation; b) advising and accompanying communities of Indians, small farmers and poor urban dwellers in their search for economic and cultural independence; c) institutional development in the areas of administration, management, training and projects; and d) the broadening of relationships with other institutions.
  2. Accompanying and promoting the processes of survival, self-help, production, formation and organization for the most impoverished people, giving priority to those areas which provide them with the necessary tools to achieve quality production and, at the same time, an improvement in their standard of living.  The following goals are therefore being proposed:  promoting cultural interchange between rural producers and poor urban dwellers, supporting community organization, advancing environmental education for community organization, backing organic agriculture for the Indian areas of Darien, establishing a center for multiple rural services in the region of Jaque in Darien, establishing an agro-ecological center in Vaquillas-Cocle, enlarging the Center for Training of Women, establishing sports centers in Colon and Mañanitas for young people at risk, creating virtual libraries, recovering the historical memory of the Indian people, and promoting a culture of peace and citizenship formation.

 

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PANAMÁ
Director: Maritza Aguilar
Oficina: Avenida La Paz (El Ingenio)
Apartado Postal 0834-02777
Panamá, República Panamá
Teléfonos: (507) 2618712 / 2616738
Fax: (507) 2618904
Correo-e general: info@feyalegria.org.pa
Correo-e del Director: fyapan.direccion@feyalegria.org.pa
Web: www.feyalegria.org.pa