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Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home

by Fundacion Ninos de los Andes
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home
Different parts of the world in one big family.
Different parts of the world in one big family.

I’m Angelica Vega, born and raised in Houston, Texas in a big Colombian family, who for many years have been very close to the Foundation’s work. I pursued my college studies in Florida, and decided to go back to my country and work in a non-profit organization. For over a year now, I have been working hand in hand with Patricia Gonzalez in managing GlobalGiving, translation and administrative matters. During this year I have not only witnessed firsthand the hard work that is put in everyday to meet the needs of the children, but also, I’ve been able to meet so many of the children who have come and gone in the different programs. While working here I have also had the pleasure to meet many of the special donors, like Valerie Thompson and Vincent Dixon, Andrés Fabián Suarez, who play an important role in contributing to this cause. More importantly, I was positively struck by the number of visits by international donors, who through GlobalGiving’s quarterly reports have been informed of the progress of the work at the Foundation.

These visits were particularly special this time of the year, as in Fundación Niños de Los Andes, we have seen an exponential growth in the number of girls coming to our homes. With this being said, I noticed the special bonds our donors made with the girls, and vice versa.  So far, this year in one of the programs, they have provided attention for 466 children, of which 407 are girls, indicating an 87% attention coverage for girls. Unfortunately, this only points to one thing, and in our country, it is, the alarming increase of sexual abuse cases. For many of these girls, their cases have been perpetuated from their own family members.

One afternoon, I had the chance to sit down with a large group of girls and Vincent Dixon’s daughters. During this conversation, we shared our hobbies, our dreams, places we’d like to visit and things we would like to achieve in our life. Amidst this conversation, each of the girls’ stories came up, and they bravely shared their tough past. While it is alarming to read about these horrors in statistics, it is a completely different thing to see their faces expressing their jaw-opening stories, which left Vincent’s daughters and I completely heartbroken. But through this hardship, their excitement and eagerness to achieve their dreams was left untouched. One would typically expect that these types of conversations would make visitors uncomfortable, or that it would be too difficult for the girls to share them, but for these girls and our visitors it was the opposite. Instead, they showed strength, bravery, and courage, which shined in their eyes and could be heard through their voice. They have taught me courage and within these girls I can see the courage to get past the dark past that they chose to not only leave behind, but to become a better human being and hopefully a loving mother to their children in the future.

From my time with Fundacion Ninos de los Andes, I can conclude that the Foundation has a lot of work ahead, but with everyone’s support it will become easier to achieve, so we can get better results and generate greater impact for the children in Colombia.

After working with this platform, there are not enough words to express the gratitude our Foundation feels for each one of you!

Angelica creating life-time bonds.
Angelica creating life-time bonds.
Celebrating 25 years of Valerie
Celebrating 25 years of Valerie's support.
Language has no barriers.
Language has no barriers.
Vincent
Vincent's daughters volunteered for 2 weeks.
Mapfre believes in a collaborative environment.
Mapfre believes in a collaborative environment.

What a year it has been so far! Half-way through 2019, and we already have so much to share with you all! We would like to take the chance to offer our sincerest gratitude to each and everyone of you. Thanks to your generous support we have been able to grow as an organization this year, and learn new ways in which we can expand our impact on our at-risk children. 

We are excited to inform you about the following achievements:

  • We formed an alliance with MAPFRE's corporate volunteer program, which develop activities for people that live in vulnerable situations and suffer from extreme poverty. Our St. Patrick boys were invited to participate in their “Providing Opportunities for Working life” project, that has been recognized as one of the best human resources practices for the employment inclusion of people belonging to vulnerable social groups. These activities also took place in our other program, Nuevo Amanecer. 
  • Worked with a volunteer group “Ante Todo Colombia”, where the volunteers worked with the children on various workshops based on entrepreneurship, gender equity, and technology management. These workshops took place in 2 of our programs in Bogota during a time period of three months. The cycle began with a workshop in St. Patrick, on “Life project based on entrepreneurship”, where 22 students participated, of which were either finishing high school, doing technical and/or university studies.  “I always dreamed of running a business and being my own boss, but I thought it would be impossible for me, but this workshops along with my college education motivate us, help us grow personally, construct our capabilities expand our visions about our professional future”, said Pablo* (20 years old).  He has been in the St. Patrick program for over 4 years, and is currently studying Business Administration at Politecnico Gran Colombiano University and takes advanced English courses. 
  • As you are aware, during the week of April 8thwe participated in the Little by Littlecampaign, where all donations from $10 to $50 were matched at 60%. Although we did not have much of a successful campaign, it was a great opportunity to expand our donor community network and our small contributors, thanks to the support of ten advocates selected among our most committed donors. 
  • On Saturday April 13th, Andrea Juliao a professional dancer, lead an integrated activity through dance and aerobic exercises with our children and their visiting families. The purpose of this activity was to facilitate the integration of family members with their children, strengthening bonds and relationships amongst them. 
  • To finalize International Children’s Day celebrations, we received a visit from Francisca Werth Coello, a Chilean writer and narrator who was invited to Bogota for the Book Fair known as FILBO. Francisca carried out two dynamic workshops of reading, creative writing and crafts with a formative and multicultural context for our children at Nuevo Amanecer and Casacorazones programs. 

*His name was changed to protect his identity. 

Let us know your thoughts on our achievements so far. We would love to know ways in which we could improve, whether it’s advice or an opinion, feel free to contact us! We are eager to finish the rest half of this year strong.

Pablo, one of our eight university students.
Pablo, one of our eight university students.
35% of our children come from single female parent
35% of our children come from single female parent
Fran, awakening hearts through creative stories.
Fran, awakening hearts through creative stories.
Safely carrying our children
Safely carrying our children's dreams.
Our new bus, thank you GlobalGiving!
Our new bus, thank you GlobalGiving!
In Colombia, 66 children a day are abused
In Colombia, 66 children a day are abused

New year, same purpose! To all our Global Giving partners and friends, thank you for the amazing year we had. A special thank you to all our new donors who significantly contributed towards the end of the year. With your help we were able to raise over $37,000 USD, and attend 1,415 children in our five residential programs. With this money, we renovated the facilities in one of our homes, increase the funds responsible for school uniforms, materials and those corresponding to the daily menus in all of our programs. Additionally, with your support we had the chance to successfully hire a full-time nutritionist and a choir professor. We are eager to share with you all, that in 2018, we were awarded by Globalgiving as Project of the Month, Top-Ranked Organization and officially recognized as an Effective Organization.

This year taught us that girls in our country still face enormous vulnerability. Specifically, in one of our programs, out of 155 children attended, 83% were girls of ages 12-18. Moreover, 46% of these children’s reason for admission was family conflict and 22% was sexual abuse. The term family conflict covers a broad range of issues including, authority, financial and behavioral, which are mostly coupled with the single mother household situation. Such situation triggers conflict in which young girls are subject to emotional abuse, which if not treated, will result in them repeating such behaviors, adding to the vicious cycle of conflict. Because of this, in 2019 we will work to strengthen their formation strategies by focusing on empowerment and self-confidence through group coaching, leadership training, competitive sports, and psychological intervention that will help them overcome their difficult abusive past.

One of our young girls Paula expressed her worries, “I don´t want to follow my mother’s footsteps knowing how much I can succeed in life”. Although we cannot directly alleviate these grim adversities from the environment itself, with your help, we can invest our resources in directly helping the victim. In providing these resources, we can achieve our long-term goal in successfully re-integrating them into their households and society.

With the New Year ringing in, we want to make a difference in the lives of the young girls of our organization. Together, we can spread the love and show these young women the endless possibilities life can bring when you believe and love yourself more. We invite you to join us in supporting our girls in becoming strong women who will hopefully not only make a change in the world, but more importantly learn the value they bring to society. We look forward to having a year full of projects and positive energy!

Thank you again for all your support in helping us fulfill our mission in inspiring our children to overcome all the challenges they have lived.

2018 all-girl choir
2018 all-girl choir
Our girls must be protected, cared and loved
Our girls must be protected, cared and loved
Healthy competition promotes leadership skills
Healthy competition promotes leadership skills
Computer security Training
Computer security Training

This #GivingTuesday  when GG will be giving out $150,000 in proportional matching, we are happy to share with all of you some early year end results.

In “Nuevo Amanecer”, of the 139 children and adolescents cared for during 2018, 118 successfully enrolled in schools and more importantly the majority passed the academic year. Twenty-two children who could not be enrolled in school, carried out school reinforcement activities. To support their personal development, we worked with SFK, Spirituality For Kids, an international program of values and emotional skills, that helps children recognize their potential, focus on their goals and understand the impact their decisions make.  

In “St. Patrick’s home”, we cared 45 children, and young adults. Eleven, who are conducting university careers, reached the average required to pass the semester, which shows their high level of commitment. To strengthen other competencies, Frontech company, gave a free course of basic computer security. When receiving the certification, Freddy (19) said "I feel that every time I am more prepared to finish my studies and fulfill my dream of being a systems engineer."

In light of these achievements with your support, we would like to give thanks, and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Finally, we kindly invite you to save the date and join us in the #GivingTuesday Matching Campaign on November 27, and also if possible ask your friends to  help our children on that day.

All the best!

Diana Zamudio G

General Director

Certificate helps in their CVs
Certificate helps in their CVs
Nuevo Amanecer children
Nuevo Amanecer children
SFK Team training
SFK Team training
Ready for a better future
Ready for a better future

There are many things to tell you: This year we dedicated our efforts to improve the houses furniture in all areas. As you already know, thanks to your contributions through Global Giving, we finished the playroom and we got our brand new bus. As a result, our children in 2019 will be able to get to school safely. Also, we changed 63 beds of Nuevo Amanecer and 30 of St. Patrick, as well as the mattresses, the sheets, pillows, shoemakers, entrance mats and lockers. Without your help, this simply would not have been possible. You should have heard Jonathan 6 years old when he saw the mattresses: "We're not going to want to get up in the morning," he said. We would love that you could come someday to learn about the program and share the achievements obtained thanks to your commitment to this cause.

Fortunately, by the end of this period, 52 of the 145 boys and girls who began their process earlier in January were successfully reinstated to their families. We wanted to briefly share with you this special story of a group of siblings who stayed for two years in the program. Three siblings, Sara 9, Jennifer 11 and Andrew 12, were withdrawn from their family because their mother, head of household, was not a guarantor of their fundamental rights. Her work in prostitution to get the minimum resources to feed them, forced her to leave them in the care of the elder, which is a common situations of poverty. The result: The ICBF took away the children and were sent to our protection program. During these two years they joined more than ever, returned to school with normal difficulties for the little assistance and attention of their mother.

"If you knew how hard it is to get a decent job, you wouldn't take the kids away from me, instead, you’d help me find one." These were  Mercedes’s words when she first came to visit her children at the foundation’s home.  Over time, each of the mother's visit was a surprise for her: The children were gaining weight, had good grades and she was involved with discipline from the workshops dictated on Saturdays by the psychologist. She had to make great efforts to successfully pass home visits to the team and be able to recover the children, but with the support and advice of the institution achieved it a month ago. In Colombia, 50% of children entering protection have single-parent families in the head of women with very low educational level.  

Through 30 years of experience, one thing we have clear: Parents always wants to be with her children despite their shortcomings and difficulties. This premise led us to chart the course for 2019: With the help of all of you, we will significantly strengthen the support and training of families and prepare them for family reimbursement when the children leave the foundation. Family groups should be accompanied more closely to achieve a sustainable impact on the quality of life of families. Thus, the Parent School Project "The right seed" will be underway.

Thank you again for your support for our project. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or ideas at calidad@ninandes.org

Kind regards,

María Camila Matíz  

They wish you a happy year end!!!
They wish you a happy year end!!!

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Organization Information

Fundacion Ninos de los Andes

Location: Bogota, Cundinamarca - Colombia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Patricia Gonzalez
Bogota, Colombia
$151,049 raised of $250,000 goal
 
983 donations
$98,951 to go
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