Our organization is committed to eradicate child labor by creating healthy alternatives for children and youth to spend their time after school and educate their families about the important of education and the dangers of children working.
Your generous donations allow us to offer children and teens a variety of sports, academic and artistic activities, that enables them to develop their talents and achieve their full potential. The 19 different programs we offer with your help, allow children and teens to build their self-esteem, confidence and goals for the future, keeping them away from working in often dangerous conditions, but more importantly it shows their families the importance of education and a healthy use of free time.
The children and youth that participate in these programs are little heroes that have often survived terrible conditions and have difficult conditions at home. So it warms our hearts to tell stories like Diana’s.
Diana is a teenager is part of our sports program in Bogota; she is an avid taekwondo students and thanks to her commitment and hard work, she earned a spot to compete in a worldwide Taekwondo event called, "Open of the Americas" and later became the all-around “under 55 kilos” champion! Diana beat over 20 contenders from Latin American countries and the United States.
Diana is very proud of herself and expresses that she would not had made it without the support of her family, team and trainer, Gustavo. In her own words “Having the opportunity to study Taekwondo change my life and the way I look at the world”
Her win and the excitement of the competition have motivated children and youth in the program to continue practicing sports. She is living proof that a great use of free time to develop talents and passions can change lives and improve the physical and psychological growth of vulnerable children.
Thanks to your generous donations, we can continue supporting children like Diana, providing them with tools that allow them to build their future.
Our organizations has been creating child labor eradication efforts for almost 10 years, we have programs around 19 municipalities in Colombia were we create academic and extracurricular activities for children to make healthy and productive use of their free time attending activities that range from capoeira, soccer to painting and break dancing. We also have the mission to educate their families and the community about the importance of eradicating child labor.
This past 12th of June, we commemoratedWorld Day Against Child Labor. This is a key day for our organizations because it represents the opportunity to approach communities and create awareness about the importance of education and keeping children and youth away from child labor. Our organization strives every day to give children the opportunity to have a life of learning, healthy development and happiness and informing the community about this problem is a fundamental step in eradicating the attitudes that foment the hiring of children.
With your generosity and the help of our allies, this month we worked hard to create awareness about the places and events where children are employed. We enlisted the help of local governments and civil society to create compromises to stop the abuses.
One of our biggest celebration and triumphs over child labor, happened in Monteria, a small town located on the Pacific coast of Colombia, where children and adolescents are usually forced to work during the local livestock fair- the biggest economic and commercial event of the region-.
However, this years and thanks to your generous help, children were instead celebrated in a grand “Children’s parade” where the dance group from the child labor eradication extracurricular program, Proniño- formed by children from three allied schools-, performed a traditional dance, showing off their moves to the beat of typical Colombian music, wearing big and colorful dresses!
It was a wonderful experience, the children enlivened the evening with their dances and energy in the streets of Monteria and left a meaningful message to their communities, about the importance of eradicating child labor, and making sure that everyone remembered their smiley faces and how it was important to protect their opportunities and dreams.
In 19 municipalities across Colombia from the coastal region to the mountain, School kits supplies, marches, mime shows, soccer games, and even dance competitions were held to create awareness in families, business oweners and the community at large.
Thanks to your donations, Juntos Construyendo Futuro was able to plan and take to fruition activities across Colombia, where children had fun, learned about their rights, showed of their talents and the importance of protecting their dreams! We can’t wait to have more activities like these soon! For us the most important thing is to see how smile doing what they love and you can be part of this incredible project sharing and donating!
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.
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.
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!
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