We are pleaced to announce that on May 13th there will be a Pro-Rated Bonus Day. There is $75,000 available in matching funds and the matching percentage will be determined based on the total amount raised that day.
Why is this Bonus Day so great? For the first-time, all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project made on Bonus Day will be matched. That means that our donors can give throughout the day and feel confident that their donations will be matched.
This opportunity is very important for us in order to reach our goals, that’s why we are asking for your help.
If you want to know more about this project, click here.
During 2015 the Fundacion Ninos de los Andes has strived to keep firmly the patient fight against the situation of street living of thousands of children in Colombia. Thanks to the generous donations that you make through Globalgiving’s platform, we have managed to provide tools to put an end to such serious situation. However the problem is still a big one. The number of young people and adolescents who consume psychoactive substances in our country has increased considerably since 2008. According to a study by the Observatory of drugs of Colombia it was increased from 2.74% in 2008 to 3.6% of the total population in 2013.
From the 2.414 youth admitted for the Foundation emergency centres during 2014, 93.2% of them presented use of psychoactive substances and 18% of them presented street situation. The preferred substances of teenagers are marijuana, glue, “perico”, pills and “bazuco”, demonstrating that they consume more than one psychoactive substance at a time. From all the teens attended, 1.444 were referred to therapeutic communities for specialized treatment of addictions and 44 were reinstated to their family environment, prior awareness work to families about proper management to avoid a relapse.
This invites us to reflect and to think in new ways to combat this phenomenon which hits all social classes in Colombia and gradually consumes the essence and the future of our society that is our young people. Through interventions that are made in Casa Corazones and Albachiara, the Fundacion Ninos de los Andes daily helps children and young people to get out of these addictions and become good members of society. Sessions of yoga, reading spaces, educational cinema forums and cardiovascular gymnastics routines, directed by the psychosocial team and workshop specialist, help to control withdrawal and anxiety by consuming that these teens present at their recovery terms.
The Foundation spends a good portion of its budget on materials and therapies to manage children's free time, since they remain in the house, they aren't going to school and we must help them with therapeutic activities 24 hours a day.
Dear Globalgiving friends:
We wish you the best 2015 full of love, health and success in all your works and commitments. Papá Jaime and all the staff send you a big big New Year hug. This time, we will post a very short report just to thank you for being part of our dream. Over the last 3 years you have provided essential support and funding to help rescue children living on the streets in Colombia and to protect those who still remain there. Your generous donations have allowed us to take more children off the streets into the safe environment of the Foundation’s homes, provide the possibility for more children in the homes to go to school and provide food and clothing to children who come to us with nothing. Thanks to your support we can also reach out to more children still living on the streets and provide them with a safe day time environment whilst their parents are out working, and essentially give these children love and support and help them to build a better future for themselves. We are extremely grateful for your support over the last 3 years and hope that you feel willing and able to continue to support our work in the future. The end of the year was fantastic for the children and of course for the foundation. We had so many important companies like Energizer, Cinnabon, Amway, Hilti, Corona, Coltanques, Accenture, Banco Sudameris, Montachem, Mother Care, Frisby, Biostoscana ,Envia Colvanes, Hotel Sofitel and many more celebrating Christmas time in our homes and giving presents, snacks and love to every kid. With your kind help and the fantastic support of these companies we were able to give the kids an unforgettable Christmas that they never had. The kids sang and danced and had a wonderful party with surprises, presents and Christmas foods as a special treat. This shows how many kind donors and friends continue to trust us and support our work in helping Colombia’s most deprived children. We hope this year will bring better opportunities for the children and more people to join our cause.
Dear Globalgiving friends,
In June this year I went to Bogota, Colombia, to visit the Fundación Niños de los Andes and its Residential Centres. I have worked with, and supported the Foundation, for over 20 years but the last time I had visited was 19 years previously. I was curious to see how the situation had changed, in terms of the plight of children living in a street situation or in abject poverty, and to learn about to the Foundation and its current activities.
What impressed me most was the positive and happy environment in the Centres. The staff were affectionate and attentive, whilst at the same time imposing a daily discipline The staff obviously cared a great deal for the children. Many had been working with them for years and were qualified as social workers, psychologists, nurses and occupational therapists. Some had even grown up in the Centres themselves and were now employed as cleaners or cooks. The Centres were spotlessly clean and all the children’s affairs miraculously tidy. As part of the process of learning to live on their own and with others the children have to tidy up after themselves, make their own beds and keep their things in order.
Over the years since I had last visited it was clear to me that the Foundation’s excellent work with street children had become more widely recognised and valued. The ICBF (the official Colombian Family Welfare Institute) is working with the Foundation in many of its projects and Centres, and has increased its funding over recent years of the Foundation’s work. On the regular inspections of its Centres by the ICBF the Foundation always achieves an excellent rating.
On my final day, the Foundation had organised an event at Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) Centre with Ingersoll Rand. This Centre is based on the outskirts of Bogota in the countryside. 60 children and teenagers live there and will stay for up to 4 years. They are mainly groups of siblings who have had to be separated from their parents due to physical abuse or because their parents cannot cope. These children have been exposed to abuse and neglect and have had little access to education. The Foundation’s philosophy is based on a loving care and support, encouraging the kids to have plans and dreams for the future.
Ingersoll Rand Executives had kindly offered to give up their time and provide the money for materials to paint the dining room at the Centre and to plant a vegetable plot. The adults soon got busy on the painting and digging.. The kids had been so excited waiting for the arrival of Ingersoll Rand. They had made a big banner which said “Welcome Ingersoll Rand”. The kids stayed close to the adults all afternoon, fascinated by the way they looked, by the different languages spoken (Ingersoll Rand Executives came mainly from the USA and from China) and asking them lots of questions. Papa Jaime welcomed Ingersoll Rand and thanked them for their generous offer of their time, support and the materials to improve the children’s home. Then everyone got to work with lots of enthusiasm, good humour and tremendous effort.
A few hours later after the work was done Ingersoll Rand Executives taught the kids how to play basketball. Later, as they boarded their bus back to Bogota, the kids enthusiastically hugged them and climbed on thefence to wave them off. They really appreciated the fact that the grown-ups had cared enough to want to come and help them make their home a nicer place to live.
I took with me a sense of wonder at everything the Foundation has achieved over the last years. The staffs work tirelessly to help the children grow up in the safe environment of the Centres. The children are so happy, positive and curious to learn. Amongst all the suffering and poverty widespread on the streets of Bogota you have the sense that there are people who really care and who want to make a difference. The children in the Centres homes are the lucky ones who can look to a better future with the Foundation’s love and support. There are so many more children out there who need our help. For this reason the Foundation is very grateful for your ongoing support and continues to seek new sources of funding so that it can help more children.
This time we have decided to make a special mention to our “Preparation for Life” program with the adolescents at the Saint Patrick’s Home that involves a transitional period which constitutes the bridge between being in the Foundation and returning to society. Since its opening in 2003, the Saint Patrick’s centre has been home to 675 adolescents, offering them the skills they need to sure up their long-term plans and preparing them psychologically so that they may use their independence to become active and constructive members of society.
Many of the boys have come from the Emergency Centres or other institutions as they have been fully rehabilitated but have no family support. Saint Patrick's centre has a warm and happy atmosphere. It feels like a real “home” and the boys come across as “brothers”. Here there is a major emphasis on educating the boys and setting them on a path that will help them to become fully independent. Some are going to secondary school, others are attending technical college and four of the young men are attending University. The idea is to provide the boys with career advice and employment opportunities as real options for their future.
We are certain that this programme contributes directly to achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals in the context of the fight against poverty, since we firmly believe that skills development and employment opportunities are are one of the most effective solutions. The young people who have graduated from the Foundation, deserve a fair chance of getting a prosper life. We will do our utmost to further this initiative, with hard work and your generous donations.
Former street child, Alexander * (19) is attending University in Bogota where he is studying Agricultural Science. He arrived at St Patrick’s two and a half years ago. He was found abandoned at age 5 and spent many years living in a number of institutions and on the streets. He is doing very well at college and is very bright and ambitious. Jonathan used to go out on Street Patrols where he helped giving out bread and hot chocolate to the kids we visit. He loves to share moments with the people living on the streets he had met. It’s incredible to think that this young man belonged to the street community not that long ago. *His name has been changed for protecting his identity.
According to the United Nations, 65% of the population in Colombia is below the international poverty line. When Colombian families don’t have homes or a means of income, proper parenting becomes compromised. This can result in Colombian children not being adequately fed or supervised and education is often non-existent. It can also result in Colombian children being exposed to physical and sexual abuse, and violence.
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