Students from South Africa and worldwide have traveled to Panama to participate in the Scholas World Youth event. The event is in partnership with ORT, one of the largest educational networks in the world, and the Pope’s Scholas organisation. The event aims to create future leaders, promoting understanding, tolerance, and cultural exchange as part of a joint initiative with Pope Francis. This event continues the ORT network’s collaboration with the Pope’s Scholas Occurrentes Foundation. The program is taking place in Panama City, and after the four days, the students will work remotely together for a year before presenting their projects in their home countries.

Pope Francis has made education and youth a fixture of his work. Scholas is a joint project between his foundation and World ORT, and until the pandemic met annually as an inter-religious, inter-cultural conference for young people. Amelie Esquenazi, World ORT Networking Coordinator for Latin America, remarked: “One of ORT’s key values is Tikkun Olam – we also strive for a better world, peace, and care for the planet. We encourage our students to be global citizens and leaders of the future with a conscience – and Scholas is the perfect partner for this task.”


A program will take place at a community center in Panama City, with visits to local attractions, including trips to the Panama Canal and Monkey Island. After the four-day program, the students will work remotely together for a year before presenting projects in their home countries.

Previous Scholas meetings have occurred in Jerusalem, the Vatican, Argentina, and Mexico. The meeting proposes that the youngsters, with their creative capacity, discover through Art, Play, and Thought spaces.

ORT SA assisted in coordinating the students’ travel from South Africa, wishes the students exciting adventures, and to remember that not all classrooms have four walls… Have an incredible time!