News Archive
Aug 26, 2014 - Stationery and soap delivered to Nicaragua and Panama
Peace Boat's international cooperation project, the United People's Alliance (UPA), has built a civil network of NGOs, civil society organizations and volunteers to help deliver material aid to communities visited in our voyages based on their direct requests.

On Peace Boat's 84th Global Voyage for Peace, when the ship called in Nicaragua and Panama in August of this year, stationery and soap were delivered to local partner organizations with whom exchange programs were held. The soap was provided by Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Japan, a company with a strong corporate social responsibility ethos.  

+ Nicaragua

Under the auspices of the Nicaraguan government, Peace Boat visited people living in a poverty area and distributed 500 bars of soap and body soap, and 832 stationery items. The articles were distributed in areas of extreme poverty in the capital city of Managua and in waterfront areas where diseases and bacteria breed quickly, in order to support the health and hygiene of residents. The items were distributed to the most vulnerable members of society first, including children, victims of domestic violence, persons with disabilities, and mentally ill patients.

With a population of approximately 6 million people, Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and relies on agriculture and cattle farming as its main industries. Because of repeated natural disasters and a protracted civil war that that spanned more than 40 years, it is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Neoliberal economic policies put in place by the United States also contributed to a severe gap between rich and poor in the country. Despite having a limited budget to work with, the Nicaraguan government has been striving to ameliorate poverty in the country through adopting policies that provide housing support, alimentary assistance, and vocational training in poor areas.

Read more about our most recent visit here.

Peace Boat delivers Lush soap to residents in Nicaragua(left) / A young boy after receiving colorful body soap (right)

+ Panama

In Panama, 50 articles of soap were distributed to members of the Kuna indigenous community.

Molas, one of the most well known handicrafts of Panama, are carefully stitched one by one by women of the indigenous Kuna. In order to protect their autonomy and cultural heritage, the Kuna people launched a conservation organization called the Kuna Authority. However, dwindling indigenous populations and economic pressures have led to chronic material shortages, making the conservation of traditional culture increasingly difficult to to achieve in some areas. Beginning with the delivery of donated household items such as sewing machines and cloth, Peace Boat is providing continuous support to the Kuna community.

Read more about our exchange programmes with this community here. Video report available here.

Handcrafting a traditional mola (left) / Soap is delivered in Panama to a local partner organization during an exchange program (right)

During the 84th Global Peace Boat Voyage, soap and other aid items will also be delivered to Brazil, Bulgaria, Jordan and Cambodia.
To learn more about the UPA project, and our current call for donations for the upcoming 86th Global Peace Boat Voyage, click here.
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