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IDB loan to assist Panamanian students

IDB loan will assist Panamanian children

Inter-American Development Bank News Release
June 7, 2012 – News Release

IDB loan for US$70 million to benefit more than 38,000 Panamanian students

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a loan for $70 million to provide innovative educational infrastructure to 47 communities in Panama that will benefit more than 38,000 students. The goal is to expand educational opportunities and encourage students in marginal and indigenous areas to complete basic education.

More than a third of Panamanians between the ages of 13 and 17 do not attend school. Coverage levels are especially low for the groups targeted by the program. For example, in the Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala indigenous administrative regions, only 43 percent of youths attend secondary school.

The IDB financing will be used to expand and equip 20 primary schools to include grades seven to nine and construct two model schools that will have innovative facilities and will employ a new pedagogical and educational management approach. These investments are expected to result in the matriculation of 10,000 new students from preschool through secondary school.

In addition, the program will providing 47 schools with classrooms designed to facilitate learning. The basic curriculum will be updated to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, and training and support will be extended to staff and faculty in school management, pedagogy, and curriculum content.

Only 62 percent of Panamanian schools have drinking water in Panama, compared with 77 percent for the Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole. Half have adequate sanitation, compared with 65 percent for the region

Studies indicate that the quality of a school’s physical environment directly affects both the motivation and behavior of teachers as well as learning, discipline, and attention levels of the students.

Schools benefiting from the program are located poor areas with high dropout rates in the provinces of Panamá, Coclé, Colón, Chiriquí, Los Santos, and the indigenous administrative areas of Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala.

The financing was extended for a 25-year term with a grace period of four years and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. Counterpart funding totals $10 million.

New release thanks to IDB website: http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-releases/2012-06-07/panama-will-improve-school-infrastructure,10017.html

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Mayor of Taboga and Taboga Expat at Health Center Donation Ceremony

Mayor of Taboga and Taboga Expat at Health Center Donation Ceremony

Taboga Island Community Joins Forces to Donate to the Health Center and the Fire Fighters.

Medical and other equipment, as well as construction materials for repair, were donated this past Friday by the Taboga Island community to the local health center (Centro de Salud, Isla Taboga); organized by two expat Taboga residents to assist this Panama community.

Taboga Health Center
Because of the ongoing dedication of the Doctor, nurses and health officials, the expats on Taboga Island in Panama wanted to help the island. They asked the doctor at the clinic what supplies and repairs were needed and she came up with a list. Since Taboga is a small island community it is often forgotten by those in charge of government funding on the mainland and the health center is in dire need of building repair and working equipment. A fund was set up, money collected, and purchases made of the following items for the health center which assists so many on the island.

Financial Donations were used to purchase:

Air conditioner for the pharmacy
Air conditioner for the administration area
2 – 60 pound medical oxygen tanks
Fetal Doppler (monitor)
Stethoscope
Blood Pressure Monitor
2 cots to be used for stretchers or beds
Roofing and paint plus workers to repair and paint the leaking roof

The Ceremony
This Friday past, September 26th a ceremony was held in the council room on Taboga to present the donations. Held in the council room at the Department of Health, a number of people were present including the mayor, and the people´s representative.

During the ceremony a number of people spoke including representatives of the expat group. One of the expat Tabogringa organizers expressed: “ When an emergency arises in this special small village, the people of Taboga come to your aid – you helped us as you would your own.” “We are foreigners who live here in Isla Taboga but we came here for only one reason, we have a big love for your island.”

The department and doctor received the thanks as well as much needed supplies which will be used to help the islanders, expat residents, and visitors alike.

Note on further donations: This article is not an attempt to solicit donations, but if anyone reading this would like to donate to the Taboga Health Clinic or the Taboga Firefighters (below), please contact us and we will put you in touch with the group.

Still needed for the health center: Electrocardiograph, defibrillator, video computer display for educational purposes. Screens/curtains for examining room, toilet room needs repair.

Note on further donations: The Firefighters are also in need of equipment and supplies.

The list can be found here: http://www.bomberostaboga.org/donacionesusa_files/necesidades.htm
this is in Spanish with photos, if anyone is interested in donating to, or assisting with this cause we will put you in touch with the Taboga Island Fire Chief, Luis Endara, (he speaks English). Just comment here on our blog article and we will contact you.

Bomberos English Blog: http://bomberostaboga.wordpress.com (English site)

Bomberos website: http://www.bomberostaboga.org (English and Spanish site)

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