Daily Management Review

Ford’s Educational Philanthropy in Panama


First Attempt to Assist in Education Outside of the US

Ford’s Educational Philanthropy in Panama
Expanding its program of Ford Driving Dreams educational tour for the first time to an international market, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Corporation would deliver more than $50,000 in motivational activities, school grants and scholarships designed to prevent students from dropping out of school in panama.

This initiative in the South American nation would help more than 300 young teens learn skills to keep them in school. This is the first time that the organization has attempted anything of this sort outside of the United States. The United Way Panama and the Ministry of Education of Panama are partnering the Ford Fond in this venture.

Children in the age group of 13 to 15 are the major portion of the children that eventually drop out from school according to the University of Panama’s Research Center. A combination of social and economic factors, such as the lack of resources for school supplies, meals and transportation, among others are behind the threat of school drop outs for this age group. Ford would work with children in this age group

Citing Ford’s commitment to make a better world for the communities where they did business, Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services said: “The vitality and growth of every nation depends in great part on educating our young people, and we are excited to bring our innovative program for helping kids stay in school to Panama.”

The program would include 300 students from 19 public schools located in some of the most vulnerable communities in and near the capital such as San Miguelito, and the nearby provinces. According to the education ministry, these students were chosen as they had a untapped potential but were vulnerable due to socio-economic factors and at risk of dropping out of school. Ford would give each of the 19 schools a grant of $2000 to help support these 300 children to continue with their studies.

“This will be a transformative experience for our students and we commend Ford for their global corporate citizenship and the impact they will make in Panama with this initiative,” said Carlos Staff, vice minister of education of Panama.

During the initial days of the program, the selected 300 students were delivered lessons on motivational and goal-setting strategies and their importance and were narrated life-changing testimonies from motivational speakers. Such speakers included former Boxing World Champion Chemito Moreno and athlete César Barría.

The aim of this camp was to imbibe and a sense of motivation among the students so that they are able to lead a positive life.

An essay contest would form the basis for delivering $10,500 in scholarships through the “What Drives Your Dreams?” – a part of the Ford Driving Dreams project.

Launched in 2012 and designed by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Driving Dreams Tour has reached more than 30,000 students in Chicago, Indiana, Florida and Texas. In the US the project helps Latino youth graduate on time and pursue higher education.

The Ford Fund has contributed nearly $900,000 to various countries and regions of Central America since the company started awarding its environmental grants in 2001. 

 (Source: www.businesswire.com)