Since the beginning of 2017, ICDP has been developing a training programme in El Chorrillo district in Panama city, and in this new project ICDP is cooperating with the local organization called “Movimiento Nueva Generacion”.

“The ICDP workshop was held in March and it was attended by 18 participants, who were mostly staff members (teachers, psychologists and community workers) from the centres and schools run by Movimiento Nueva Generacion (MNG), except for 4 people who were teachers from other neighbouring schools.

The Movimiento Nueva Generacion school in El Chorrillo was the venue for the ICDP workshop. The neighbourhood around is one of the poorest, at high risk areas of Panama, but the school is very nice, modern, airy place for children to come to learn and to play. The founder of the MNG grew up in El Chorrillo and he worked hard and with great devotion to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of the poor children and young people – knowing this was both moving and inspirational.

The group was very actively participating in the ICDP workshop and all showed sincere interest and commitment during the time we spent together and most significantly, all shared very pertinent examples from their own practical experiences in working with children as a way of illustrating the deeper meaning of the ICDP topics. The local organization and food was good and everyone was friendly. Some of the participants shared sad stories from their own childhoods, but others told more positive ones – all enjoyed the fact that they could talk and share freely. Most of the participants said they had not received the kind of care ICDP is promoting when they were children; but that they will try their best to put the ICDP guidelines into practice. ” – Nicoletta Armstrong, ICDP trainer.

The second workshop was held in May 2017 and the third workshop will be held in November 2017, which will lead to the certification at Facilitator and caregiver levels.

The New Generation Movement (NGM) started in 2000 and its founder was Héctor Brands. In order to prevent young people from joining juvenile gangs, he organized football clubs during holidays, inviting young people to participate free of charge. By participating in the football clubs, the children and young people were guided to learn about peaceful coexistence, tolerance and culture of peace. Over the years the educational, recreational, cultural and spiritual components were introduced; all activities were led by volunteers. The New Generation Movement was formally constituted as a legal organization in 2003, but it was not until 2006 that it was recognized as a not for profit non-governmental organization.  In 2005 a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Social Development for the establishment and operation of community care centres for children and youth in vulnerable districts.

The New Generation Movement is a community-based social organization whose main goal is to implement programmes, projects and social, cultural and sports activities in order to provide comprehensive protection for children and youth. The emphasis is on prevention of violence and gangs through the promotion of ethical and moral values. The vision is to create opportunities for education, socializing, sport and culture for children and adolescents as a basis for their development and a better future life.

The New Generation Movement runs 6 centres in Panama and these are attended by children and young people. The State offers some support to their programmes and they cooperate with UNICEF.
One of their centres for young children (3 and 4 year old) is attended by 300 children, whose mothers are out at work all day; the children are left at the centre from 7:30am till 4.30 pm. They also have a centre for children 5-18 years old, who attend the centre after school to do homework and to receive lunch. There are several programmes for young people, providing a space for them to establish dialogue, explore different topics and engage in some positive activities. In addition, they also run a school for parents (Escuela para Padres), and they offer education as well as some material help to parents.

First facilitators in Panama, 2017 update

New ICDP project in 2018

Facilitator level workshop in 2019

In 2020, ICDP trained professionals Yirlin Plaza and Antonio Mendoza, together with other members of a multidisciplinary team prepared a project proposal for the Ministry of Social Development in Panama. The roll out of the ICDP programme is a key part of the project activities included in the proposal. The aim is to use the programme to work with families, children and adolescents. They have also started the process of adapting the ICDP material to the socio-cultural context of Panama. The new project was planned for 2021.

In the period 2021-2023, ICDP trainer Antonio Mendoza continued to apply ICDP in the most western part of the Chiriquí province, in the district of Renacimiento, bordering with Costa Rica, in the poorest region of Panama. Here Antonio implements the content of the ICDP programme with families and children in the indigenous communities, covering 30 communities. In addition to ICDP this work represents cooperation with several organizations and the scope of the intervention includes consciousness raising, education, nutrition, and health components. They have so far reached out to over 400 families with young children, up to 8 years of age, belonging to the Gnabe and other communities, who live in Santa Clara and San Antonio.

The emphasis is on providing guidance in early stimulation and teaching about ways to establish good communication between parents and children, as well giving nutritional advice. The participants are mainly mothers who attend sessions together with their children. The sessions are held in the district of Rio Sereno. Four facilitators meet the families on church premises and work during entire days, from 8 am till 4 pm. Each family attends 6 full days of training.

In 2023, the local authorities approved the building of a training centre, which is under construction, to facilitate the implementation of different programmes, including ICDP. The centre will serve children from both Panama and Costa Rica, as it is situated on the border of these two countries. In addition, in 2023, plans were made to start working with school teachers and young people.