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Four-day workshop contributing to spread Learning to Live Together in Panama

Social and grassroots workers, teachers, psychology experts and community leaders gathered to participate on a Basic Training Workshop on the implementation of the Learning to Live Together Programme, held from 28 to 31 July 2016 at Capira district in Panama.

The LTLT Programme, which is already being implemented in Panama since 2008, has now become one of the main pillars of ENFOCA, a project on Sport Disciplines for Character Development and Personal Autonomy for Children and Adolescents launched by the Ministry of Social Development of Panama  (MIDES), through its Safe Social Development Office (ODSS), in partnership with the Central American Secretariat for Cultural Integration (SISCA), Arigatou International Geneva, the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), CODICADER and the University of Panama.

During this four-day workshop, participants were trained on the Ethics Education Framework, which includes the key conceptual elements that provide the rationale and foundation of the manual and the educational approach that defines the way the Learning to Live Together is planned and implemented to ensure a high-quality, interfaith and intercultural ethics education experience.

Participants included representatives from different organizations namely, Red de Oportunidades and its volunteers, ODSS, Proyecto de Renovación Urbana - Colón, INADEH and Veraguas Pandeportes.

During the workshop, each organization designed an action plan for the next four months focused on the particular social contexts of their communities. Some organizations will train adults, while others will implement the program with children and youth.

Red de Oportunidades (RdO), a project from MIDES that helps ensuring access to health and education for families living in extreme poverty, is planning to train household heads of families benefited by their program in order to help them to enter the labor market. The RdO volunteers will also get trained in the use of the Programme as a mean to keep implementing the LTLT with children. Proyecto de Renovación Urbana - Colón, also working with heads of households, is looking to train 2,080 of them so they can act as role models of respect for their own rights and the rights of others in their communities.

Veraguas Pandeportes is planning to use the LTLT Programme with children through sports. As for ODSS, is implementing it with youth from areas affected by violence and with community leaders and parents, in order to promote peace building and peaceful coexistence.

The Ministry of Social Development of Panama expects that the implementation of these programs will contribute to tackle issues among children and young people such as domestic violence, school dropouts and bullying.

A second workshop to develop advanced skills in introducing the ethics education framework of Arigatou International in the further implementation with youth through ENFOCA is schedule to take place at the end of November 2016.  

The Ministry of Social Development and Arigatou International continue exploring ways to strengthen the collaboration and promoting ENFOCA and the use of the Learning to Live Together not only in Panama but in other Central American countries.  

We wish the participants success in the implementation of their action plans and we look forward to learning about their work.  

We thank the team of trainers Mr. Larry Madrigal and Ms. Mónica Bernal, official trainers of Arigatou International, for their hard work and commitment, as well as Mr. Rodolfo González, for supporting the logistical preparation of the workshop. Special thanks goes to the Ministry of Social Development of Panama for disseminating the Learning to Live Together Programme among social workers in their country.