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Romina Martínez

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Ribbon HUNDRED 2019
Empowering students so they can change their future.

Panal Foundation

Panal strives to empower students in their school and community through an extracurricular, semester program of seven sessions to develop their socioemotional abilities. The abilities are utilized by having the students form cooperative workgroups, or “communities,” guided by a mentor, to identify issues and find solutions within their academic environment.

By Students, For Students

Tomás Despouy, Co-Founder
“We are used to integrating [students] and giving them things, but we do not consider students as having a fundamental role. It is a very advanced concept. Education is more than a curriculum, it is also effective relationships, empathy and caring for others. ”

Tomás Despouy, Co-Founder

The logic in education has always been proposed from the point-of-view that the development of the student is the joint result of a Ministry of Education with a strong national vision, well-designed and implemented educational policies, diligent management teams, and well-prepared teachers, but rarely are students mentioned as a key piece in their own educational process. This has positioned the student as a passive actor with few opportunities for empowerment. We believe that in order to create a significant learning environment for students, education should be by the students, for the students.

Panal, Spanish for honeycomb, is a non-profit organization that empowers students to become active agents of change in their communities and schools. The program consists of seven extracurricular sessions, hosted on Saturdays, with the objective of promoting student leadership through the development of socioemotional abilities (SEA). The socioemotional abilities are tools that allow people to recognize their own emotions and thoughts, understanding what influences their behavior; controlling their emotions, thoughts, and actions in different situations, motivating them to work towards their personal goals. They learn to empathize with others and act according to ethical norms, recognize people and institutions that offer support, establish and maintain healthy, social relationships with diverse people, practice active listening, how to cooperate with others to find resolution to conflicts, and, ultimately, make responsible decisions considering ethical standards, personal well-being, and others.

The abilities, in addition to being used in playful and reflective activities, are put into practice through “actions of change” which consists of student projects that identify a problem within the student’s school community and the design and implication of a solution. In this manner, the students make cooperative groups, or “communities,” guided by a mentor, which all together gives rise to Panal (honeycomb). A honeycomb is formed by a series of communities that with empathy and creativity, perseverance and mental growth, strengthen schools and empower students.

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Innovation Overview
13 - 17
Age Group
Tips for implementation
1. A physical space that is closed or with a roof, with a capacity for 100-150 people (according to the quantity of recruited students) 2. 150 Students (from approx. 5 schools) 3. 30 Mentors (or 1 for each group of 4-5 students) 4. 4 Coordinators 5. 1 Facilitator 6. 150 printed training manuals (for students) 7. Work materials (poster board, markers, pens, post-its) 8. Food (breakfast + 2 breaks per session)
Contact information
Romina Martínez
HundrED Review

The Panal Foundation empowers young people and multiple stakeholders to develop SEL skills.


This programme has exceptionally high engagement and attendance rates, with between 70 and 80% noting significant change in their SEL skills.


Across Chile and in the process of scaling to Portugal and Colombia.


See this innovation in action

Academia 2018 - Santiago, Chile
Panal Graduation 2017 - Lima, Perú
Project Brainstorming 2018 - Lima, Perú
Project Presentations 2017 - Quito, Ecuador
Academia 2018 - Santiago, Chile


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Find Headquarters and Funding
Sessions must be held in universities
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Obtain Team of Coordinators
4 coordinators needed
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Recruit a Facilitator
Someone to moderate the sessions
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Uplift Schools
Deciding which schools to implement the program
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Recruitment and Selection of Mentors
Finding suitable mentors
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Execution of Panal Training Program
Actions of Change!
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