Lee Forsyth has been a MySmallHelp Trustee for more than ten years. He became good friends with Paris when they were working together in the City of London. Lee has always been very passionate and vocal about MySmallHelp’s work in Nepal, all the work done there and what MySmallHelp had accomplished over the years.

Paris and Isela always wanted to help underprivileged children in Panama. They met FUNDASEVI in Panama about 3 years ago, saw their work with underprivileged communities, met their team and management every year since and knew that they have found a charity to trust. Paris immediately thought of MySmallHelp and spoke to Lee about collaborating in a way that both charities will receive the benefit to pursue projects in behalf of impoverished communities. The blog below provides an introduction to Fundasevi and a fantastic start to a collaboration with MySmallHelp.

March, 2024

The work of FUNDASEVI (Breath of Hope and Life Foundation) started before its creation in 2017. It was 8 years ago when God placed into our hearts the need to help and support families, children, women and men living in extreme poverty and under conditions of vulnerability in the Republic of Panama, Central America.

As part of our work within the church ministry we visited many hard to reach communities where access can only be gained by foot or horse. We came face to face with the hardships children, women and men face daily such as:

  • Food deprivation which is often the reason why children abandon school
  • Children lacking clothing, footwear
  • Families sleeping on the ground floor of houses made of zinc or cardbox and exposed to the rainy season
  • Sick and disabled not receiving medical assistance or having to walk long distances to seek health care
  • Families lacking steady income to supply basic needs of hygiene.

As great as the needs were, the sense of abandonment these families felt by the rest of the society was equally demoralising.

We knew that we had to take an active role to bring relief and we started spreading the word and help came from everywhere. Friends and members of our church JEIVI (Jesucrito Imperio de Vida/Jesus Christ Empire of Life) donated items of clothing, food, medicine, footwear, school supplies and toys. We continued offering this help for years until my good friend Ninoska de Reina (RIP) suggested the creation of the legal framework to establish an organisation solely focused on helping these underprivileged areas. An organisation that would transcend time and generations.

The goal for FUNDASEVI was to create a consistent source of help for the underprivileged that will ultimately empower, prepare and give the members of these communities the tools to achieve financial independence and create awareness across the country while giving the opportunity to people to assume a role in transforming the lives of others through an organisation governed by lawfulness and transparency.

In 2017 FUNDASEVI was authorised by the Ministry of Government and Justice of Panama as a non profit organisation.

We knew then that we had to take an active role to bring relief and opportunities to change their future

Over the years, FUNDASEVI has helped hundreds of children, families, women and men and thanks to our legal status we had a vital role, during the COVID 19 pandemic, helping to bring food and medicines where it was most needed.

Since its creation FUNDASEVI has operated with a team of volunteers and members of JEIVI/FUNDASEVI professionals from all different backgrounds i.e. doctors, teachers, social workers, lawyers, accountants, majority of them from humble beginnings wanting to give opportunities to others to overcome the financial hardships they once overcame. The team of volunteers give their time and effort to participate in trips to deliver medical checks, medicines, food and clothes.

Our UK Partner and 16 Academic Scholarships for 2024

In May 2023 we partnered with My Small Help (MSH), a UK registered charity that since 2008 works to improve the welfare and education of disabled and disadvantaged children and young adults and their families in Nepal.

From this collaboration, we have initiated a scholarship program which thanks to generous donations via MSH will benefit 16 children and young adults living in poverty with food and school funding.

The scholarship program will have an immediate effect on the underprivileged families. More importantly, this is a long term investment in the future of our children, the way-out from a cycle of extreme poverty with a substantial positive effect for the rest of their families and their communities.

As a next step to support the academic scholarship program we are looking into delivering workshops for the parents on how to establish small businesses. The workshops will be delivered by individuals with successful startups experience and they will include farming, animal rearing, financial administration basics. If successful, the small business will give the head of the family a more steady financial income.

We are very grateful to God for FUNDASEVI, our partners and collaborators and we believe this is just the beginning of a great journey to positively impact many lives. We will continue working to establish FUNDASEVI as a trustworthy and reliable platform of collaboration with other national/international organisations and individuals that share the same vision, so that through a joint effort the programs have an increased scope and become more effective.

The author is Carmen de Canate, a Pastor, an Educator and a former Lawyer who abandoned her career to dedicate her time and efforts to help others especially the poor and sick.

FUNDASEVI (Fundacion Soplo de Esperanza y Vida/ Breath of Hope and Life Foundation) is a Christian non profit organisation with legal status granted by Government Resolution No.106-PJ-106 of May I 8 2017, number 292, RUC 25034388-3-2017 DV 8