January 5, 2010
The Asociacion Panamena de Industrias de Buena Voluntad (Panamanian Association of Goodwill Industries) traces its roots back to September 14, 1970, when a group of people began collecting clothing and household supplies for Panamanian residents in need. Initially operating out of a local church’s basement, the organization later obtained land from the government in, what was at the time, the outskirts of the city. As the organization raised more money, it began building facilities and expanding services to include training and employment for people with disabilities and those who were unemployed.
The organization has faced numerous challenges throughout its history, the most significant being the destruction and looting of its buildings during uprisings related to the United States’ invasion of Panama in the late 1980s. Goodwill Panama credits this event with providing the impetus to gain more support, rebuild its facilities and expand its services. During that period of rebuilding, the organization received $50,000 from Goodwill Industries International.
Programs and Services
Goodwill Panama offers professional training to young people and adults with disabilities, along with basic labor and vocational training in production workshops. Additionally, it offers technology training and labor adaptation in an integrated setting through the Alliance with Commerce and Industry (ACI) program. The program provides placement opportunities of up to four months for its participants. During this time, individuals receive paid job training in the areas of administration, production, packing, janitorial and food service. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, individuals may be hired directly.
Goodwill Panama offers vocational training in areas such as blacksmithing, beauty, plumbing, baking, gardening and landscaping, and sewing. The agency operates as a social enterprise; only 2 percent of its revenue comes from financial donations. In addition to the ACI program, income is earned through the following commercial activities: repair and retail sales of donated goods, repair and retail sales of bicycles and wheelchairs, manufacture and retail sale of iron doors, a small restaurant and catering service, and packaging and assembly.
Fast Facts 2010:
- Staff: 36
- Volunteers: 37
- People served: 1,695
- People placed in competitive employment: 77
- Total number of services provided: 2,408
President: Edward Henriquez
Executive Director: Angel Cárdenas
Transístmica, Los Andes #2
Apartado 8-248 Panamá 8
Tel: 011 (507) 267-7692
011 (507) 267-7695
Fax: 011 (507) 274-1650
Country name: Panama
Capital: Panama City
Land Area: 29 120 square miles
President: Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal
Unemployment: 4.2 percent
GDP (PPP): $44.36 billion
GDP (PPP) per capita/average income: $13,000