Kellogg Foundation supports West Indian museum

SAMAAP, the Society of Friends of the Afro-Antillean Museum of Panama, has once more been the recipient of a Kellogg Foundation grant to support its efforts to train young people to be future leaders and develop their appreciation of their cultural heritage. Previous Kellogg grants have enabled SAMAAP to accomplish many of its other goals.

SAMAAP president Melva Lowe de Goodin says that in February of 1995, the foundation’s first grant helped the organization to sponsor an international conference entitled “Preserving Our Heritage,” which brought renowned scholars in Caribbean history and culture together in Panama. A subsequent grant in 1996 sponsored a cultural exchange with Jamaica that brought a steel band here from that island, backed a drug abuse prevention program in Rio Abajo, and financed the theatrical production of “From Barbados to Panama,” which enabled a number of SAMAAP members to learn show business skills. A 1998 Kellogg Foundation grant sent several young Panamanians to Jamaica, where they visited important historical sites and studied their Caribbean heritage.

In a recent visit to Panama, Kellogg Foundation evaluation director Dr. Ricardo Millett explained the foundation’s history and its relationship to Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Millett, a Panama native, stressed that Kellogg has a policy of investing some of its business profits into projects around the world that aim to develop human potential. He noted that SAMAAP’s work of preserving West Indian heritage in Panama is the sort of project that the cereal maker’s charity likes, and urged the group to continue its focus on the community’s younger generation.
The new Kellogg grant will finance on-the-job training for museum personnel and SAMAAP’s community outreach efforts. Some of it will also go to the group’s ambitious long-term effort to improve the museum’s facilities. The grant also funds two annual events, the Antillean Fair and the Forum Against Racial Discrimination, and youth cultural exchanges between Panama and Caribbean countries.

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