January 6, 2010
The Instituto de Buena Voluntad (Goodwill Uruguay) was founded in 1925 by Methodist Pastor E. Smith. From the beginning, the organization focused on working with unemployed people and persons with disabilities, especially people living in poverty. The organization collected furniture and other goods and had workshops that focused fixing and preparing the articles for retail sale. In 1993, the organization began to receive containers of clothing for resale from the United States; however, a 1995 law prohibited such containers. This created a crisis in the organization as it sought to redefine its purpose and achieve self sustainability. Today the Goodwill has developed a variety of training workshops that help people learn how to become successful in Uruguayan society.
The mission of The Instituto de Buena Voluntad is to offer young people and adults with social, physical or biological vulnerabilities, an educational, recreational and work-based project to help them achieve labor and social integration.
Programs and Services
Goodwill Uruguay has nine different workshops: literacy, art therapy, carpentry, cooking and baking, communication, sewing and design, landscaping and gardening, computer training, and cosmetology. The programs aim to promote the holistic development of the people they serve — to stimulate their interests, values and aptitudes. Each workshop is designed to teach a specific job skill, while helping students learn to integrate socially.
Country name: Uruguay
Land Size: 68,037 square miles (slightly smaller than the state of Washington)
President: Jose “Pepe” Mujica Cordano
Unemployment: 6.7 percent
GDP (PPP): $47.99 billion
GDP (PPP) per capita/average income: $13,700
Statistics for Persons with Disabilities: According to the National Survey of Persons with Disabilities, 7.6 percent of the population has disabilities, and 37.7 percent of those have not completed an elementary school education. According to the same study, 19.6 percent of persons with disabilities are participating in the job market, and only 16.5 percent of them are actually employed.
State of Disability Legislation
Uruguay has both signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.