About the project
The indigenous native peoples of Panama suffer from the greatest extremes of poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and higher levels of disease. Badi School is located in San Miguelito, a town where indigenous Embera and Kuna ethnic groups constitute over a quarter of the population. Nearly half the families in this area are homeless. Badi School works hard to provide scholarships to these kids because education is their best hope for a better life.
How we help
Though coming from deprivation and poverty, Badi School students have excelled. Scholarships for these students have kept them in school and allowed them to demonstrate their abilities. Every year Badi students are among those with the highest scores in the nation on college entrance exams, often winning the top spot. In addition to academics, many also excel in the arts.
Jessica was a slow learner and not doing well in class. But when she entered the Arts Program, she became very enthusiastic, often staying at the school longer than her friends to practice her art. She did beautiful paintings and demonstrated a tremendous capability for the arts and a strong desire to learn more which affected her whole academic career as well. She graduated with honors from Badi School and later also graduated with honors from college. One year later, she opened her own art gallery and in 2015, she received a national award sponsored by the Panama National Institute of Culture. She came back to teach art at Badi School and in 2016 will pursue a Master of Arts degree.
Over twenty years Badi School has grown to offer K-12 and has been recognized for excellence in Panama and by international institutions such as the Ibero-American Council on Education (comprised of universities and other educational organizations from Spain, the U.S. and Latin America) as one of the best not only for its excellent academic education but also for its outstanding programs in arts, music, computer technology, and community service.
Despite their disadvantaged backgrounds, Badi School students have earned the highest scores in national exams, won awards in the arts and film and have been accepted at prestigious universities in Panama and the U.S., many with scholarships because of their excellent academic record and history of community service.
Moral leadership education and community service are woven throughout the Badi School curriculum and students are recognized for their good character as well as their academic achievement. Students apply what they learn to help the development of their neighborhoods by teaching children’s classes and other service. In 2015, a group of students from the 9th, 10th and 11th grades received second place in a national short film festival for their film on how to change someone who bullies into an agent of positive change. The film was shown nationally and impacted many students around the country and inspired other schools to promote good values.
Served 398 students directly, and 6,015 commnity membes indirectly.
Constructed 2 new classrooms and bathrooms
Established a school band program – now a government-required subject for schools
Launched the YouTube Channel, with students now producing video programming for their channel.
2017 project goals
Provide scholarships for 15 deserving students
Purchase musical instruments for the band program
Upgrade the arts program with new equipment and supplies