“I am lucky, my farm produces well, better than most. But I have four children, all of them cannot have a future in farming. The only thing I can give them is education.”
-Organic farmer, district of Nole Diuma, Comarca Ngobe Bugle, Panama. 2009
Welcome to Few for Change, a project started by a group of SIT Study Abroad alumni who learned more than books can provide in the mountains and plains of Panama. We are committed to widening the educational opportunities for high achieving students in less developed parts of Panama, supporting community leaders of the future.
We have chosen to focus on the Comarca Ngöbe-Buglé, a semi-autonomous indigenous state in Panama, where Panamanian students must travel out-of-state for secondary education. As local students progress in school, they are faced with the costs of travelling and/or boarding while also navigating a second language and culture. The statistics in the area are distressing, with high levels of chronic malnutrition and the lowest level of basic needs (according to government benchmarks) in Panama. Despite the doubling of food prices in the last two years, and falling levels of food production, families in these communities are making huge sacrifices to send their children to high school, giving them the chance at a better life.
As we move forward with our work, we hope to partner with scholarship winners to increase the educational opportunities in the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle. For now, our hope lies in continuing to support the outstanding students who would otherwise not be able to continue their schooling. For about $400 each year, a student can pay the costs of matriculation, books, and transportation to the closest school. As a volunteer-run project, our goal is to make sure the funds we raise result in direct impact. Already, we have raised almost enough for two scholarships this year. Your donations will help us reach our goal of $2,000, which will enable the selected students to continue their schooling for an additional two years.
All SIT Study Abroad: Panama students visit the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle for a homestay during the program. In the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle and elsewhere in Panama, we spend the semester learning about culture and development. Through Few for Change, we have the opportunity to turn our training into action. We are all extremely invested in this project because the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle is a community where we have learned so much. It's just our turn to give back.
For more information about Few for Change, and stories about the areas where we work, visit our website at http://www.fewforchange.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for supporting this work!