Bikes for the World

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bikes Create Lifelong Skills at Goodwill

Goodwill Panama is a long time Bikes for the World supported project. To date we have donated over 16,000 bikes to this project alone.

Goodwill Panama trains and employs bike mechanics to reassemble and repair the bikes shipped from Bikes for the World. Many of these bikes are then sold in the Goodwill storefront and on occasion in fundraising activities in tourist areas in Panama City.

The money generated through these sales are used to help Goodwill Panama pay operational costs to run the program. Goodwill Panama provides work training and job opportunities to people with disabilities. The bike program in part supports the metal working shop, wheelchair repair, and of course bike mechanics.

Angel Anel Sanchez
My name is Angel Anel Sanchez. I am 15 years old and live in Nueva Libia, District of San Miguelito, Panama City, Panama. I live here with my mother, stepfather, a sister, and three brothers. 

I am currently not attending school, but hope to enter school next year. This past summer I started at Goodwill Panama. I had some knowledge on how to repair bicycles but at Goodwill I learned even more specific skills.

I got a bicycle from Bikes for the World and repaired it myself. I use the bike for transportation and to practice riding skills with my neighborhood friends. My stepfather has a welding workshop and I hope to learn welding skills next so that I can help in the workshop and bring more income into our home.

Joel Cordoba
My name is Joel Cordoba and I am 17 years old. I live in Los Andes #2, District of San Miguelito, Panama City, Panama. I live with my mother, grandmother, and two younger brothers.

I am currently in high school and hope to graduate in a couple years. I started at Goodwill Panama when I was 14. The first thing I learned there was how to repair bicycles. I used to work on my own, but it is now missing a chain ring. As soon as I find a replacement I will be able to ride again.

Goodwill Panama taught me about the tools and different parts of the bike. They then showed me how to repair bikes. I like passing on those skills to the younger people who have come to the Goodwill. I have also learned welding, wheelchair repair, and roof ventilator assembly while at Goodwill. Once I graduate high school I hope to enter INADEH (Human Development National Institute) where I will learn to be a professional chef.

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