A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia

by Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas
Play Video
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
A Home To Build Futures In Medellin, Colombia
Girls visiting the Construction of Their new Home
Girls visiting the Construction of Their new Home

Dear Friends & Family of Cultivando Sonrisas,

For those of you that don't know me, my name is Jenna, I am a volunteer with Cultivando Sonrisas. My volunteer responsibilities have varied since I first was connected to the foundation back in 2016 when I was just passing through Medellin as a tourist. My role now is much more of an advocacy and ambassador role. For this update, I want to tell you a little bit about why I chose to invest my time, energy, and money into Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas, and how I was recently reminded of “my why”.

When I first arrived in Medellin, all I knew  was that the foundation was a home for girls. In my head, I had pictured a group home foster care setting or an orphanage.

Stepping into Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas for the first time was a surreal experience, that is difficult to explain. At first, all I could hear was the sound of laughter from young girls. As I was trying to take in all that I was seeing and feeling after having arrived at the foundation, a young girl grabbed my hand and began to lead me on a tour. She showed me her room that she shared with 10 other girls, a room that was attached to a second bedroom that housed 10 more girls. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, but I felt privileged to be seeing her home, a space that she obviously took so much pride in!

The young girls who lived here were cheerfully going about their afternoon routines.  Some were doing their homework, while others were singing and dancing along to a music video. Once I had a moment to be present with what I was seeing and feeling, what I realized was that the foundation was not an orphanage or a temporary group home for kids on their way to foster care.

No, this was a home…. like an actual HOME! A family lived here, albeit a gigantic one, but a true family nonetheless. It was far beyond what I could have imagined a foundation to be, and it took a bit of time for it all to register.

 As a counselor who has spent much of her career working with vulnerable youth, this was something I saw as a true answer in the lives of the most vulnerable of children. The foundation created a home, and a family for these girls to BELONG to, and from my perspective there is nothing more foundational for young children than the sense of belonging to a family system.

This came to my mind again when the girls got to go visit the construction site of their future home! There was such joy and pride on their faces as they toured their new home and got to imagine where their beds would go and where they would put their clothes and eat and play games, and do their homework. It reminded me of when I was a young girl and went with my family to a new house we were buying….WE….it wasn’t just a home that I lived in, it was our home, MY home. I believe that is how these girls felt, they were looking not at the future home of the foundation, but they were looking at their future home, a place of their own…a place where they BELONG!

There has been so much progress made, and we hope the construction will be completed in early 2020! We still need to raise approximately $15,000 USD to finish the final phase of construction.

We are so grateful for your continued support and we are getting closer and closer, to the completion! Please help us to spread the word to keep the momentum going during these final stages of the construction.

Warmest Regards,

Jenna

Girls Touring Their Soon To Be New Home
Girls Touring Their Soon To Be New Home

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Dear friends and family of Cultivando Sonrisas!

I want to apologize that it has been so long since my last update, and assure you that the efforts are still going strong, both in the building campaign and in the business of cultivating smiles!

Our fundraising efforts continue to progress. Outside of this campaign which has raised $28K there has been approximately another $20K raised, leaving us with about another $65-75K to be raised. Please see the pictures below of the progress of the construction!

For this update I want to share with you about how Cultivando Sonrisas is restoring the joys of childhood to girls they serve. When a child does not need to worry about where there next meal is coming from or where they will lay their head at night, they have the freedom to go about the business of growing and leaning. At the next level,  more than having  their basic needs met, when a child knows they are loved, cared for and safe, they then have the freedom to play, explore laugh, and experience an abundance of JOY that comes naturally when children have these things.

For the girls of Cultivando Sonrisas this is a process of restoration, one that the founders and workers of the foundation take very seriously and is at the core of everything they do with the girls.  

The theme of “the joys of being a child” has been so present in my mind recently as I have been watching the updates of the girls learning to ride bikes…something that many consider a rite of passage for a young child. However, this is something that I would say many take for granted as there are children all around the world who never had access to this joy, and even if they have seen or touched a bike, many have never had anyone to teach them how to ride it.

That is no longer the case for the girls at Cultivando Sonrisas…through a generous donation there are now bikes at the foundation and the girls are learning to them! What a Joy! As someone who defiantly has taken for granted the blessing of riding a bike in her own life….it has brought me great joy to see these girls learning to ride!

Thank you all for your continued support of these efforts, we are so grateful!

For regular updates on the girls and the progress of the construction please follow Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas on Facebook and or Instagram! 

 With love and gratitude,

 Jenna (Project Volunteer)  And Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

This Thanksgiving...

We at Cultivando Sonrisas want to express our deepest gratitude for your support during these 8 years. We hope you have enjoyed the daily messages and pictures we’ve shared from these girls who asked, “Who are all of these supporters and why do they  care about us?” It’s each and every one of YOU! You care because you know that every child deserves love and care. They say, “It’s amazing that people who don’t even know us care so much about our lives, and help our dreams come true” Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let’s continue this season of gratitude together on #GivingTuesday and #ChristmasFCS ♥

All the girls and staff from FCS! 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Dear friends and family of Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas,

We hope this finds you all with joy in your hearts! We continue to be so grateful for everyone who is helping to make this dream a reality!

We are excited to announce that we are sooooo close to completing the first phase of the project! To complete the first phase all we need is 2,000 more bricks! Each brick costs $2 USD (with labor)…so only $4,000 USD. Please consider making a donation to help us complete the first phase....how many bricks can you sponsor?

Another exciting update is that Home Center has graciously donated tiles for the entire floor of the house! Wow....Thank you Home Center!

Update on the girls: It has now been 5 months since the girls moved up to Santa Elena....and I don't know if it's possible that they could love a place more! They have bunnies and ducks and dogs that come to visit...they run play and jump outside until they are completely exhausted! It has been a complete joy for them to be up in the mountains. Beyond being growing girls, with all the added exercise they are getting by being outdoors all the time they are eating more and more which is making it more and more difficult to keep the fridges full.

We hope each of you will some day be able to come visit the foundation....it truly is so much more than a foundation it is a family, it is a home, and we want you each to know you play such a big role!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

With much love & gratitude,

Jenna 

& the whole Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas Family!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Summer Greetings!

Cultivando Sonrisas has had a very busy and eventful start to Summer. While the permanent home is being built in Santa Elena, they have found a house to rent near by. This is very good news as they were unable to extend the lease at the house in the city.

Much of June has been taken up with the move. The girls are now settling in and enjoying the beautiful peaceful environment in Santa Elena outside of the city. There they can run and play outdoors during their vacations from school. In July the girls are looking forward to starting at their new school in Santa Elena.

The money that has been raised so far through Global Giving, fundraising events, and other platforms has been used to complete the first phase, which included all of the design and legal costs, the building’s foundation, and additionally the purchase and installation of the septic tank.

The full cost of the second phase which includes all of the structural work of the main building is $69,000 USD. We still need to raise $27,000 USD of to finish the second phase, and then we will continue on to raise money for the following stages.

It is such a blessing for the girls and the foundation to have a secure place to stay until the building is completed, and we are encouraged as each day we seem to get a little closer to the goal. Please check out the pictures of the girls in Santa Elena and of the progress of the building!

We ask for your continued support as we work to raise all the money that is needed. Please consider making a summertime donation, signing up to make a monthly donation, or telling a friend or group about this project. Your prayers and support mean the world to the Cultivando Sonrisas family!

With a full heart!

Jenna

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas

Location: Medellin - Colombia
Website:
Fundacion Cultivando Sonrisas
Manuela Vargas
Project Leader:
Manuela Vargas
Fundación Cultivando Sonrisas
Medellin, Colombia

Retired Project!

This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

Still want to help?

Find another project in Colombia or in Child Protection that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.