are high in Panama in spite of the country’s strong economic
growth. It is mostly high in rural areas where approximately 45%
of the population is poor and 23% live in extreme poverty. More
than 80% of Panama’s indigenous people live below the poverty
line, and they are the fastest growing segment of the
In recent years
there has been an increase in rural people’s migration to urban
areas. Rural-urban migration, coupled with low demand for
unskilled laborers in the country’s service-based economy, has
led to an increase in urban poverty.
population consists mainly of small subsistence farmers,
landless and rural laborers, indigenous peoples, who farm at a
subsistence level, produce traditional handicrafts and perform
seasonal agricultural work and households headed by women.
Panama in general, and rural poverty in particular, are caused
by, but not limited to, the lack of a traditional agricultural
structure and production, inadequate support services,
deteriorated natural resources and an inequitable land tenure
children are required to go through grade 6 and then if their
parents can’t afford to pay for more schooling, the kids are put
out on the streets. It is not unusual to see 12 year old girls
getting pregnant — so we have “babies” raising babies.
Our mission in
Panama is to help and encourage underprivileged girls to
graduate high school and then go on to University to earn an
undergraduate degree. We require them to get passing grades and
we require them NOT to get pregnant. Your donation will help us
attain this goal more quickly. All donations are tax deductible.
News on JHI – Panama happenings in January 2015.
We ended the
year with a positive bank balance in the low to mid 4 digit
range. We are well positioned to move towards our mission goal
of sending a young woman to University. We have identified a
girl who recently graduated from Chame High School in the top 3
in her class of 45 students. She wants to earn a degree from La
Chararra University with a major in Environmental Engineering.
Juventina plans to enroll in University by mid-year. JHI –
Panama has agreed to grant Juventina a “full ride” scholarship
for her University Degree.
from a family with 20 siblings, 2 mothers and one father in a
small home near Sora. She is the first person in the family to
earn a high school degree. We hope that Juventina will act as a
mentor for her family and other young children in the Filipino/Sora
In December, we
held a Christmas Dinner inviting all the administration and
house Mum’s at SOS Orphanage in Penenome. One hundred and twenty
five children were invited. Special thanks to all who
contributed. Board Chair Laurien organized a Christmas gift
program with assistance from the International School in
Coronado. Each child had a gift to open for Christmas. Both
events mark a first for SOS Orphanage.
In the recent
past, founder Bob Wolkins was involved with a potential donation
from an individual who lives in Ohio. This individual owned a
large home in Romania which Bob wanted to use as an orphanage
and a church. Unfortunately the building was vandalized before
the donation could be accepted. It is interesting to note, that
JHII can accept donations of real estate including raw land,
residential housing, or condos. The advantage to owners for
doing a donation gift can be impressive. Perhaps the simplest
way to donate is through a “straight gift.” Donors transfer
title to JHII’s 501 3 (c) and take the full appraised value of
the property as a tax deduction, eliminating brokerage fees and,
of course, capital gains taxes. On properties with a low tax
basis, the advantage of a donation is obvious. Eliminating
capital gains taxes, brokerage commissions and the time required
for selling a property can be significant.
If any of our
readers is interested in looking at a donation of real estate,
please contact us. Simply stated, the owner would engage a
licensed real estate appraiser to determine the fair market
value of the property. Upon donating the property to JHII, you
will receive a tax receipt and then when you file IRS taxes, you
can take a deduction for the fair market value of the property
donated. Often this can be more advantageous than an outright
sale where you may have significant capital gains taxes. Please
keep in mind, President Obama wants to increase capital gains
taxes from 15% up to 28%.
Spent the day visiting SOS
Orphanage in Penonomedelivering
Shoe Box gifts to approximately 100 children. The children loved
the Shoe Boxes. We started at House Number 9, passed out the
shoe boxes and helped open; then we delivered shoe boxes to all
the other houses at SOS Orphanages while House Number 9 children
enjoyed their lunch. When we returned to house number 9, we cut
the cake we brought to celebrate multiple birthdays for House
Number 9 children.
We believe the
children loved the shoe box gifts more than anything else we
have done for them.