International Living and IL Readers Work Together to Give Back to Panama
Ever since we began supporting the Fatima Parish orphanage in Panama City, generous IL readers have been lining up to make donations. At our recent seminars, we encouraged you to bring donations of school supplies and necessary items, and some of you asked if you could make monetary contributions.
Thanks to your generosity, we raised thousands for the kids at Fatima Parish. Then we added a donation of our own so we could present the orphanage with a $10,000 check. In the photo above, Father Javier, the tireless head of the orphanage, accepts the check along with some of the children and staff. We’ll continue to support this worthy cause. Read on to learn more about how to contribute.
Fatima Parish Needs Your Help
Fatima Parish has been at work in Panama City’s Casco Viejo for more than 50 years.
As you know, International Living focuses on opportunity in the places where we spend time, but we can’t help but notice, as well, the people who could use a helping hand. and we’d like to do what we can to help our neighbors.
The Parish offers an orphanage for kids whose families can’t support them. It offers day care for working moms; kindergarten; before- and after-school care; tutoring and homework help; a research library; a computer lab; and courses and workshops to help kids learn a trade (e.g., auto repair, carpentry, and computer tech). Graduates of these courses receive certificates that are respected throughout the city.
The Fatima Parish hosts:
- 25 full-time boys and 35 full-time girls
- 175 kindergarten-aged kids (and younger) who attend the Fatima Parish during the day so their parents can go to work.
- 300 infants that participate in a healthy eating program
- 40 senior citizens.
The Parish helps the children of Casco Viejo who, without some support, are likely to get mixed up with gangs, drop out of school, go hungry, get sick, or worse.
Plus, the Parish serves a few hundred meals a day to locals…offers a dental clinic a few days a month…and cares for the elderly.
But here’s the thing…
The Fatima Parish needs money for operating expenses, food, hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, and school supplies (e.g., books, pencils, and pens). Right now, the operating expenses for the Fatima Parish run around $20,000 per month.
However, the state subsidizes only $2,000 a month…leaving the Parish $18,000 short each month in operating expenses.
We at International Living would like to help the Fatima Parish. And you can help too.
If you’re planning a trip to Panama, we encourage you to fill an extra suitcase with anything from toothpaste and diapers to deodorant and soap. School supplies such as pens and notebooks are always very useful, too.
If you’re coming to an event in Panama, please give your supplies to an IL staff member and we’ll get it to the Parish. Monetary donations are also welcome.
On behalf of the Parish, thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated.