Goodwill Panama

MissionGoodwill Panama

To provide comprehensive training and full integration into the working world for people with disabilities and special needs, through participation in workshop production and placement in an environment of respect for the dignity of all.

Background

La Asociación Panameña de Industrias de Buena Voluntad (Goodwill Panama) began in 1970 when a group of people began collecting clothing and household items for Panamanian residents in need. As the organization grew it began expanding services offered to include training and employment for people with disabilities.

Bikes for the World supplies this Latin American flagship affiliate of Goodwill International with bicycles, supplemented by portable sewing machines and most recently wheelchairs, canes, and crutches for the support of individuals with disabilities and the general populace. The project is fully self-financing and represents BfW's largest partnership to date, with nearly 14,000 bikes donated over seven years. The sales of bicycles support the overall mission of Panama Goodwill contributing to job training for youth with disabilities and special needs.

Impact

Goodwill Panama offers professional training to young people and adults with disabilities, along with basic labor and vocational training in production workshops. Vocational training areas offered are blacksmithing, beauty, plumbing, baking, gardening, landscaping, and sewing.

Bicycles donated by BfW are reconditioned in a Goodwill operated workshop, whose employees--managers, mechanics, and sales agents, are individuals with disabilities or are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The workshop provides income and skills training to employees while providing low-income workers and students with affordable transport.  Reconditioned bikes are sold at affordable prices at Goodwill Panama's store in Panama City and through Rotary Club and other wholesalers throughout the country. 

Stories

Metalworking coach

Metal Working Coach

Goodwill Panama works with disabled individuals bringing them training in vocational areas such as metal working, which is supported through the bike program. Young people and old are given special instruction to help them become more able-bodied and self-supporting through this program. Read about a young man named Odison Robles and how he overcame adversity to become the supervisor in this program in Success Stories from Panama.

Links

Photos

Panama

Video

Peace Corps Panama Friends help load a container of bikes after a collection at Arlington County's ECARE event. Produced by Bikes for the World

Pimental Family video This family purchased three bicycles from Goodwill Panama. The bikes are used by the family including one son who is handicapped and help the family transport and sell homemade foods in the community faster and more efficiently.