Papa Jaime inspires them to dream a better future
In Colombia, according to the National Ministry of Education, only 47% of those who graduate from high school have access to higher education and one of the main causes of drop-out is that 60% of them come from families with incomes below US$460 per month.
Aware of this situation, at Fundación Niños de los Andes we continue building relationships with universities and technical institutes in order to get scholarships and financial support for our kids to improve their education. This is how this year we achieved to make an agreement with Politécnico Grancolombiano, an academic institution who will offer us an annual scholarship in exchange for internship places for their last semester students in different careers at the Foundation.We recognize that education plays a critical role in the progress and well-being of our society. For this reason, in addition to the values education program that we teach to the young people in our centers, we make an effort to offer them the possibility to acquire tools and skills to start their working lives autonomously.
Success stories like the one of Fabian*(today 38) continue to inspire us to work for the youth
When he was 7, he ran away from home because of the mistreatment resulting from poverty. After several years living in the streets, stealing and doing drugs, Fabian* came to the Foundation and after time in his process of rehab he got a scholarship from American Field Service AFS to study one year in France. “It was like opening my eyes to an unsuspected world, where I was welcomed by my host family with the love and care they gave their own children”, he said. At the time he came back, through a member of our Board of Directors, outstanding Director at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana he got a scholarship to study Law at this institution. His academic effort and his incredible story of personal growth made him worthy of the prize “Colombiano Ejemplar” (Exemplary Colombian), given by an important newspaper in Colombia. After years of dedication, Fabian* achieved to become a lawyer with postgraduate studies in Administrative Law, got married and had three children. Today, he works as Legal Director at an important road construction company and we couldn’t be prouder of him. His leadership among his family, community and friends has allowed them to accomplish a real social inclusion.
*His name has been changed for protecting his identity.
This year in our St Patrick's centre we have looked after 40 kids. During their time at St Patrick's we help the kids to prepare themselves for living independent lives. Amongst these 40 kids, we have helped 4 teenagers to embark on university careers in different higher education institutions, thanks to the scholarships offered by ASCUN (Colombian Universities Asociation) and thanks to contributions from our friends and allies committed to improving the quality of our kids' education. Therefore, with more funds raised we could help more and more boys and girls to have access to higher education, which would change their lives forever.
According to the National Ministry of Education, while the minimum wage increased 42% between 2007 and 2014, the average price of college tuition increased between 80% and 120%, making it increasingly difficult for young people from low-income families to access to higher education.
We Continue Making Dreams Come True
Up to this day, we have achieved to have two young people studying Business Administration, one studying Psychology and another one studying Plastic Arts. Other kids are studying in technical training programs in different areas, such as Business Management, Computer Assembly and Health at Work; which is a very good option when we are not able to enroll them in university courses. Also, 14 of our boys are finishing high school and other two work as caddies. “I never thought I had the opportunity to go to college. Thanks to Fundación Niños de los Andes I am fulfilling my dream of being an artist. Maybe someday I could exhibit my work in a gallery and live from my art”. Said Miller*, Art student. 19 years old.
Through to your support and your generous donation you have shown that you believe in the power of common effort to improve the quality of life of young people who have been deprived of opportunities. To continue our work of fulfilling real dreams we want to invite you to participate in the #GivingTuesday, GlobalGiving year end campaign through which they are offering a 50% match on donations made on November 29th, courtesy of generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
We hope you don’t miss the chance to help our boys and make a difference in their lives donating on November 29th at https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/colombia-at-risk-children/?show=recurring
Thank you very much for supporting this project. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact Patricia González, Community Relations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the age of 7, Fabian* ran away from home.
Too young for such an important award.
To get this degree was not an easy job.
A loving family who broke old patterns.
Their graduation, first achieved dream!