Help Eradicate Child Labor in Colombia

Apr 23, 2014

A child-labor-free marketplace: An achievable dream

A child in a typical job at the market place
A child in a typical job at the market place

Our organization reaches many regions in Colombia. In one of the most densely populated cities in the country, Medellin, we have found some of the worst cases of child labor in major marketplaces, where produce, meat and grains are sold in bulk at retail prices. Children as young as 7 years old are often employed to move grain sacks or heavy boxes of vegetables. They’re also found carrying messages and money from one stand to the next and looking out for cars in the often dangerous parking lots.

In these specific and problematic places, such as the Plaza Minorista, our organization has devised strategies to turn them into Child Labor Free Territories (CLFT). This includes extensive efforts to create awareness of the risks and consequences of employing children within the community of merchants, peddlers, marketplace employees and security guards, thus discouraging them from bringing children into their work environment. During this process a series of pictures depicting everyday life at the marketplace and the Child Labor Free Territories awareness process, were taken to create a calendar that would serve as a reminder for the community to uphold their promise to not employ children.

After finishing the first phase of the strategy in March, the CLFT 2014–2015 calendar was given to the marketplace’s community. To receive the calendar, partakers –merchants, peddlers, marketplace employees and security guards-, were part of a “reach-for-the-star” activity, where they answered questions related to their knowledge and perception about child labor in the retail marketplace.

Furthermore, we organized a community breakfast with the managers and some marketplace leaders where we shared the results of the first phase of the child labor eradication program. We also encouraged a dialogue with the attendees so they could share their perspectives about the topic and propositions for the second phase of the intervention.

This event was part of a process to turn the marketplace into a child labor free zone a reward for a community that has manifested their support for our organization’s work and the prospect of a better and safer workplace for all.

The colorful market place the sad reality
The colorful market place the sad reality
Children working a reality we need to change
Children working a reality we need to change
Children should smile while they play not work
Children should smile while they play not work
The marketplace needs to become child-labor-free
The marketplace needs to become child-labor-free
The awareness breakfast meeting!
The awareness breakfast meeting!


Jan 24, 2014

2013, A year of beauty and knowledge

The smart, creative and kind-hearted candidates
The smart, creative and kind-hearted candidates

2013 was a great year for Juntos Construyendo Futuro, our organization changed the life of more than 12.189 boys and girls across Colombia. Our wonderful workers and volunteers made sure 2013 was a year of learning, positivity and beauty.

Children across Colombia were given extracurricular academic, artistic and sports opportunities to keep them away from working during their spare time or stop going to school all together. Their parents and families were motivated to keep them in school and were taught about the importance of the education and the benefits of participating in sports, educational activities and the arts for the future of their children.

In 2013 we had beautiful carnaval activities, dancing, singing and poetry recitals. We had spooky halloween parties and cozy christmas celebrations; We saw the birth of a soccer star and most importantly, we saw dreams form and come true, where before there was just hopelessness. Thanks to your donations the lives of 12.189 children were transformed, now thay are far away from street vending, house cleaning, mining and other hard labor, their days are now filled with knowledge, smiles and care for their development.

We had amazing projects created by our leaders in different regions of Colombia, we want to share with you a two of the best and most innovative activities of 2013:

The kindhearted queens

At the Guillermo Valencia School auditorium in Monteria,Cordoba the first pageant of creativity and kindness Proniño 2013 took place.

Beauty pageants are very popular in Colombia, specially in our Caribbean regions, most little girls dream about being beauty queens. Trying to spin this love for the runway into something educational and positive for all, our leaders in Monteria, Cordoba came up with a pageant that woul reward not beauty but creativity, athleticism, kindness and leadership. 

The event joinned three partner institutions that house our afterschool programs, with the participation of 13 candidates that represented the three alternate schedules for after-school activities and academic-boosters programs. 119 children and youths of all the programs participated in the event and cheered their candidates. The participanst took to the runway presenting sports wear, Eco-wear (a gown made of recycled materials), evening wear and participated in a talent contest were the girls danced, sang and recited poetry for the exicited audience.

This activity was designed to recognize above all kindness, resourcefulness and creativity of this group of girls throughout the year stood out for their leadership, spirituality and talent. The winner was crowend and receive a small price and the honor to be an example for her community.

The Exploring Botanists' great adventure

Our Programme on Child Labour Eradication in San Andrés Sotavento just brough to us one of the most exciting activities of the year.

50 boys and girls from the municipality took a field trip to remember. During the academic adventure named the Proniño Botanical Expedition, participants undertook a quest to identify the scientific and common names of plants that were of interest to them. The exploration started at the basketball court of the San Simon School from where they crossed the entire village through the local woods, crossing brookes and streams, encountering small animals and feeling like real explorers, the adventure ended in the office of our organization in the municipality. 

At the end of this mini-botanic expedition, the different teams presented their work to their classmates, sharing with the community all the knowledge acquired, samples collected and all the experiences during their quest.

It was a wonderful opportunity to make science come alive for these children who have very few academic opportunities, improving their self-esteem by making them the protagonist of their very own adventure and allowing them to connect to the wonderful scientific world in their own backyards.

We want to thank you again for supporting us during 2013 and we look foward to share with you all the wonderful new projects we have for 2014 to help ensure a brilliant future for the children of Colombia.




Our creative and amazing leadership winners
Our creative and amazing leadership winners
A Team sharing their discoveries
A Team sharing their discoveries
The explorers lined up and ready for adventure!
The explorers lined up and ready for adventure!
Nov 5, 2013

Reaching superstar potential!

Andres David
Andres David's After school team

The most wonderful part of our work is when we see the dream of one of our beneficiaries come true! This why we are thrilled to share the story of Andres David Carrillo from Cartagena. Andres David is16 years old and he loves soccer more than anything else, his life-long dream was to play for his city's team the Real Cartagena.

Andres is currently coursing the 9th grade at the Institución Educativa República de Líbano, our organization became aware that he was working after school and thus had no time for concentrating on this education or playing sports. So in March of 2012, we invited him to enter our program, he gladly accepted our invitation not knowing that this would bring him closer to his most cherished dream.

He immediately join the soccer club as his extracurricular day activity, which allow him to train, sharpen his skills as a footballer and kept him away from working after school. Thanks to Rafael Montes his teacher and coach, his dream was a step closer, when he encourage him to try out for the Real Cartagena's Under 17 team; to everyone's amazement, he made the team!

Andres David played for the Real Cartagena in a national tournament which involved 187 teams from all over the country, and was recognized as one of the best left backs in the tournament. Thanks to your donations, he, like many more boys and girls, is living his dream, far away for child labor, focusing on his studies and training to reach his superstar potencial!


Andres David and his after school team
Andres David and his after school team
Aug 2, 2013

Working hard to achieve our goal

Children having fun instead of working!
Children having fun instead of working!

Our organization has done a hard work to eradicate child labor for more than 10 years. We have built strong
partnerships with national and international organizations to be able to benefit many more children and youth with our services.

We are constantly looking at our environment and observing our internal processes to ensure that children and young people are withdrawn from child labor. We have a highly qualified team to achieve our goal in a more efficient each time.

Through arts, sports and scientific clubs we get children and young people to invest their time in learning and having fun instead of working. Our work is done hand by hand with the parents, who are invited to participate in spaces where they can discuss issues regarding the development of their children. In order to ensure the sustainability of our results over time, we build partnerships with governments and local organizations in the areas of intervention.

During 2012 we achieved that 2,461 children and young people were withdrawn from child labor. This figure represents 60.8% of the children included in the program. 1,051 children of the non-retired group, reduced their
labor hours by 25%, this represents an achievement because it is time they are investing in playing and studying.

In 2013 we are working with 10.565 children to eradicate them from child labor. We are currently working with all of them throughout the country. 5.628 of them are children who work right now and 4.937 are former workers who need further assistance in order to prevent them from working again.  

Through GlobalGiving we seek to present our project and to receive contributions from people around the world
in order to improve the situation of children and youth in Colombia. Our goal is to continue working for the eradication of child labor. We hope to help many more children to live their lives as children with our work and with your donations.

Versión en español

Nuestra organización ha trabajado arduamente por la erradicación del trabajo infantil desde hace más de 10 años. Hemos construido sólidas alianzas con organizaciones nacionales e internacionales para lograr beneficiar a muchos más niños y jóvenes con nuestros servicios.

Constantemente estamos observando nuestro entorno y observando nuestros procesos internos para lograr que los niños y jóvenes se retiren del trabajo infantil. Contamos con un equipo humano altamente calificado para lograr que nuestro objetivo se cumpla de una forma más eficiente cada vez.

A través de clubes artísticos, deportivos y científicos logramos que los niños y jóvenes inviertan su tiempo aprendiendo y divirtiéndose y no trabajando. Este trabajo se hace de la mano de los padres de familia, a quienes invitamos a espacios de participación en los que pueden discutir sobre temas del desarrollo de sus
hijos. Con el fin de lograr la sostenibilidad de nuestros resultados en el tiempo, hacemos alianzas con gobiernos y organizaciones locales en las zonas de intervención.

Durante el 2012 se logró que 2.461 niños y jóvenes fueran retirados del trabajo infantil. Esta cifra representa el 60,8% de los niños incluidos en el programa. 1.051 niños de los que no se retiraron el año pasado, redujeron sus horas de trabajo infantil en un 25%, esto representa un logro porque es tiempo que ahora invierten jugando y estudiando.

En el 2013 trabajamos para retirar del trabajo infantil a 10.565 niños y jóvenes. Actualmente estamos trabajando con todos ellos alrededor del territorio nacional. 5.628 de ellos son niños que trabajan actualmente y 4.937 son niños que han sido retirados del trabajo infantil y que requieren un acompañamiento más prolongado para que no

A través de Globalgiving buscamos dar a conocer nuestro proyecto y movilizar recursos a partir de las contribuciones que personas de todo el mundo quieran hacer con el fin de mejorar la situación de la niñez y la juventud en Colombia. Nuestro objetivo es seguir trabajando por la erradicación del trabajo infantil. Esperamos que con nuestro trabajo y con tus donaciones, podamos ayudar a muchos más niños a vivir sus vidas como niños.

Apr 29, 2013

Children studying and playing is the objective of

The eradication of child labor is our purpose and has been the engine of our work all these years. Our dream is to see all the kids in Colombia, no matter their socio-economic context, studying and playing. Children must not be working.

Our goal is to empower the Colombian families as a whole to keep children away from the dark hands of child labor. We want to help the parents of those kids so they understand their responsibilities and learn healthy ways to have an economic stability without involving their kids.

Along with our allies, we have obtained amazing results in these topics:

  • Artistic workshops for children and young people through partnerships with private and government organizations.  
  • Development opportunities for participatory spaces were beneficiaries and their parents can discuss different youth issues, to continue working on the child eradication conditions.  
  • We have been strengthening our program for our beneficiaries through custom assessments with children and youth so that we can keep track of their development and personal growth, as well to understand their perception of our programs so we can improve our services.  
  • We have participated in a program that is focusing on identifying children and young people who are working in the country, rising awareness of the child labor issue and preventing that other children and youth are involved in these activities, as well as we can redirect the cases to local authorities 

Our projects for the child labor eradication are based in more than 10 cities in Colombia and include more than 10,500 children. With our interventions, more than 1000 children have been eradicated from child labor since the second semester of 2012. Besides from eradicating child labor, we also do an integral support for the children after they have stopped working, this, to prevent them from going back to work.

Besides this, we work with the other family members to guarantee that the intervention is complete and is as positive as possible for the community as a whole.

Our objective is to keep on working for the eradication of child labor. We hope our work and your donations help a lot of children to live their lives as such.

Version en espanol

La erradicacion del trabajo infantil es nuestro proposito y ha sido el motor de nuestro trabajo durante todos estos anos. Nuestro sueno es ver a todos los ninos de Colombia, sin importar su contexto socioeconomico, estudiando y jugando. Los ninos no deben estar trabajando.

Nuestra meta es empoderar a las familias colombianas de una manera integral para mantener a los ninos alejados del trabajo infantil. Queremos ayudarles a los padres de esos ninos para que entiendan su gran responsabilidad y aprendan formas saludables de tener estabilidad economica sin involucrar a sus hijos.

De la mano de nuestros aliados, hemos obtenido resultados muy positivos en los siguientes temas:  

  • Clubes artisticos deportivos y cientificos para ninos y jovenes a traves de la asociacion con otras organizaciones privadas y gubernamentales presentes a nivel local, que permiten el uso adecuado del tiempo por parte de ninos, ninas y adolescentes en la jornada opuesta a la escolar, desestimulando de esta manera el involucramiento en el trabajo infantil.  
  • Desarrollo de espacios de participacion donde nuestros beneficiarios y sus padres pueden discutir diferentes temas sobre el desarrollo de ninos ninas y adolescentes y sus intereses, a fin de avanzar en el retiro del trabajo infantil. 
  • Se ha fortalecido la estrategia de acompanamiento al desarrollo integral de ninos, ninas y adolescentes, que permite conocer de manera individual el desarrollo de cada uno, la eliminacion de las situaciones que vulneran sus derechos y el fortalecimiento de su Trayectoria de Vida.
  • Participacion en campanas de movilizacion que promueven en la ciudadania el reporte de los lugares donde se encuentren ninos ninas y jovenes realizando actividades de trabajo infantil, generando conciencia y ayudando a remitir los casos de explotacion laboral a las rutas de atencion gubernamentales.  
  • Alianzas con gobiernos locales y organizaciones de base para lograr un trabajo coordinado Nuestro proyectos para la erradicacion del trabajo infantil estan localizados en mas de 10 ciudades de Colombia, en las que atendemos a mas de 10,500 ninos. 

Con nuestras intervenciones, mas de 1000 ninos han sido erradicados del trabajo infantil desde el Segundo semestre de 2012. Ademas de erradicar el trabajo infantil, hacemos tambien un apoyo integral para los ninos despues de que han dejado de trabajar, esto, para prevenir que reincidan en esta actividad.

Adicionalmente, trabajamos con los demas miembros de la familia con el fin de garantizar que la intervencion sea lo mas completa posible para beneficiar a toda la comunidad.

Nuestro objetivo es seguir trabajando por la erradicacion del trabajo infantil. Esperamos que con nuestro trabajo y con tus donaciones, podamos ayudar a muchos mas ninos a vivir sus vida como ninos.

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Project Leader

Alba Inés Zapata Gálvez

Bogota, Antioquia Colombia

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Eradicate Child Labor in Colombia