Children
 Colombia
Project #11246

Give at-risk Colombian children a safe home

by Fundacion Ninos de los Andes
Sharing her dreams with papa Jaime.
Sharing her dreams with papa Jaime.

Receive special greetings wishing you a 2016 full of new opportunities and challenges to meet. Here at Niños de los Andes, we are confident that this will be a special year for our project and for the children we serve.

Visiting New Dawn, one of our centers, earlier this year was a very motivating experience. It houses 60 children and adolescents of both sexes, separated from their families for various reasons but all equally traumatic, whom could be a disaster if they spend most of the day at home, however we found a neat house, well cared , fully decorated that breathes love.

Immediately we could see how the activities and celebrations at the end of the year generated positive changes in the group. Children, who months ago came home with a blurred smile by the pain of not being able to be with their family at Christmas, today showed us proudly the harvest of their vegetables garden.. "We planted them ourselves with the teacher" told us Edwin, 10, who began the program six months ago because his parents had big trouble with the law. “When I grow up I can sell them to help my parents ", he said. This kid will surely see other crops, because the situation of his parents doesn't seem to have short term solution and he shall be with his siblings under our protection for an indefinite time.

In a peaceful and harmonious environment adolescent girls get ready to start their school year. The psychosocial support received during the previous year helped them to improve their attitude towards study and personal care. "I am very happy because I was elected as Personera by a vote of all the children," told us Luisa, 16, who has spent a year and a half under our care. "I'm close to graduation and it will be a good experience, “she said.

The Personera is the responsible one for leading group discipline through recreational and motivating activities. Luisa, who is a great dancer and dreams to be a dance teacher, wondered us with the presentation of her first project as a Personera. It’s called “Happy Hearts" and is a proposal to improve the behavior and attitudes of the group through non-conventional therapeutic disciplines as Bio-dance, Yoga and art therapy. We found Luisa´s initiative interesting to support because 30 years experience handling children in difficult conditions have taught us that the most effective way of personal transformation is through stimulating activities. We will seek help to finance this project, hire instructors and acquire the necessary inputs such as sound, mats, dance costumes etc. We are more than happy to invest in our own abilities that carry us forward and help our children gaining social stability, furthering love and belonging, self-esteem, and ultimately self-realization.

The Ministry of Education reports that in Colombia, each year more than 300 thousand children and teenagers especially from the population groups with lower income and therefore increased risk of vulnerability, drop out of school for barely useful and attractive content which takes away the ability to build successful life projects. In consequence, we work to secure and satisfy our children’s higher level of needs in becoming sounder and fitter individuals. We look forward every day to inspire them so that through their dreams, our hands and with your support, they could change the course of their lives.

Everyone raised a balloon with a dream to fulfill
Everyone raised a balloon with a dream to fulfill
Loving volunteers celebrating  New year
Loving volunteers celebrating New year
When I grow up I can sell them to help my parents
When I grow up I can sell them to help my parents
Luisa (center) empowered in her new role.
Luisa (center) empowered in her new role.
Ready to beguin a new school year.
Ready to beguin a new school year.
Highly concentrated preparing a delicious salad.
Highly concentrated preparing a delicious salad.

Dear Globalgiving friends,

During 2015, 1.654 children and adolescents entered our Centers. Part of our strategy this year has been to provide activities through which they can see, feel and experience various trades and identify their talents and natural inclinations and tastes. Thus we can facilitate the development of an occupational diagnosis to enable professionals to help the children individually and prepare them so that in future they can realize their dreams and live a happy and successful life.

Cooking
A world of possibilities
Healthy eating largely defines the quality of life. Recently our young people have taken a special interest in cooking. In order to make cooking fun and to encourage them to develop a taste for fruit and vegetables in a fun way, 60 children and adolescents from our New Dawn Center took lessons in food preparation with two renowned Israeli chefs. The chefs were visiting Colombia for an annual food fair and kindly gave up their time to give the kids some valuable cooking lessons.

Carpentry
A useful art for life

For this activity Directors of the Foundation “Llenando Espacios”, experts in the art of woodworking, visited us and taught the children the art of cabinetmaking. Together they built 30 desks and 30 chairs for the classroom. As well as teaching the children an important trade the aim was also to make them appreciate the value of their own work and the importance of making your home an inspiring space.

University
A dream to achieve

Convinced that education is the engine for change, and with the support of our dear GlobalGiving donors, this year we offered 30 young people from our Saint Patrick Center technical and professional workshops and training in entrepreneurship and other skills to prepare them for the working world. This was the result:
In the academic year 2014 – 2015
11 of them graduated
5 studied at college
5 students studied at SENA Technical Institute.
7 found work as young employees in companies.

As we have already mentioned in other reports, the training given to children and adolescents whom we protect and nurture in our centers follows the principles of the SER Philosophy, which was elaborated by Jaime Jaramillo "Papa Jaime", our founder. He has dedicated many years of service to humanity, rescuing children from the sewers and streets, helping high-risk communities and bringing a message of peace and love to different countries across the world. Using this experience he has created the method BEING. A simple and innovative approach to the human heart that will achieve profound personal transformation, reflected in immediate, positive and lasting actions.

This philosophy is based on the "awakening of consciousness" of those involved in the programs. It encourages them to start to believe in themselves again and identify all those qualities, talents and gifts that make each of them special and different from the next person. The aim is for them to rediscover their lives and understand that the greatest wealth is in their hearts, namely inner peace, love and joy.

And the winner is....
And the winner is....
Nothing better than a Carpenter at home
Nothing better than a Carpenter at home
Patience and caution was the watchword!
Patience and caution was the watchword!
High school: First step to a dream.
High school: First step to a dream.
St. Patrick
St. Patrick's boys with Jaime in a sporting event.
During his adaptation to the progam
During his adaptation to the progam's live.

Dear GlobalGiving friends:

We would like to share with you the story of a child who as many children in Colombia, came to us after suffering a hard life full of abuse. Last year we took care in our centers to 790 children and youngsters exposed to neglect at the hands of their poverty stricken parents.

David* is twelve years old and had originally been given to the ICBF (The official Colombian Family Welfare Institute) by his maternal great-grandmother. Before he came into our program he had lived with his maternal great-grandmother (now deceased), his uncle and aunt, who abused him physically with sticks and straps on a regular basis. David had a close relationship with his great-grandmother, but, as a result of the abuse he suffered, he did not obey rules nor respect authority and behaved badly. According to David’s memories, his mother had abandoned him several years ago and his father had died.

David’s situation was not easy because he was diagnosed with severe behavioral problems associated with a deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When we began to work with him, his behavior was erratic and with a high level of aggression towards other kids and his adult trainers. During his adaptation to the program David had difficulty controlling his anger and mood swings and the only way to show his frustration and powerlessness feeling was by attacking others or hurting himself. However, whilst he has difficulty in following instructions, John responds very well to affection and to praise and personal recognition.

However with the passage of time, with the constant and stable environment and daily routine, his aggression and mood swings gradually started to decrease, thanks to the affection and care that he received from professionals and other kids of the Foundation. He has been taken off the medication to treat his psychiatric disorder and goes to school like any boy his age.

Nowadays  David is a teenager who has grown strong and healthy. He likes to study, play games, have people listen to him and he loves animals, especially dogs. He is currently ready for adoption and eagerly awaiting his new family to come and claim him. Edison, his new father used to work at the Fundacion as a maintenance man and  David is literally in love with him. Until legal process and documents are ready, he will continue under the care and custody of the Fundación Niños de los Andes. When he says proudly “Today is my Daddy’s visit day” we can see how important its being our work.

Your generous support is invested in David. As him, in Colombia over 80.000 boys, girls and adolescents at risk are under the state protection waiting to go back to their homes or waiting for a new family. This is the main reason why we ask you to keep going hand by hand, helping us to give our kids and their families a hope for a better life.

*His name has been changed for protecting his identity.

David learns every day to be happy.
David learns every day to be happy.
He has grown strong and healthy.
He has grown strong and healthy.
Daddy means everything  to him.
Daddy means everything to him.
Woodworking is his favorite craft.
Woodworking is his favorite craft.
We are so proud of him. He is adorable !
We are so proud of him. He is adorable !
Children in the Nuevo Amanecer home
Children in the Nuevo Amanecer home

We are pleaced to announce that on May 13th there will be a Pro-Rated Bonus Day. There is $75,000 available in matching funds and the matching percentage will be determined based on the total amount raised that day.

Why is this Bonus Day so great? For the first-time, all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project made on Bonus Day will be matched. That means that our donors can give throughout the day and feel confident that their donations will be matched.

This opportunity is very important for us in order to reach our goals, that’s why we are asking for your help.

If you want to know more about this project, click here.

Time to reflect
Time to reflect

During 2015 the Fundacion Ninos de los Andes has strived to keep firmly the patient fight against the situation of street living of thousands of children in Colombia. Thanks to the generous donations that you make through Globalgiving’s platform, we have managed to provide tools to put an end to such serious situation. However the problem is still a big one. The number of young people and adolescents who consume psychoactive substances in our country has increased considerably since 2008. According to a study by the Observatory of drugs of Colombia it was increased from 2.74% in 2008 to 3.6% of the total population in 2013.

From the 2.414 youth admitted for the Foundation emergency centres during 2014, 93.2% of them presented use of psychoactive substances and 18% of them presented street situation. The preferred substances of teenagers are marijuana, glue, “perico”, pills and “bazuco”, demonstrating that they consume more than one psychoactive substance at a time. From all the teens attended, 1.444 were referred to therapeutic communities for specialized treatment of addictions and 44 were reinstated to their family environment, prior awareness work to families about proper management to avoid a relapse.

This invites us to reflect and to think in new ways to combat this phenomenon which hits all social classes in Colombia and gradually consumes the essence and the future of our society that is our young people. Through interventions that are made in Casa Corazones and Albachiara, the Fundacion Ninos de los Andes daily helps children and young people to get out of these addictions and become good members of society. Sessions of yoga, reading spaces, educational cinema forums and cardiovascular gymnastics routines, directed by the psychosocial team and workshop specialist, help to control withdrawal and anxiety by consuming that these teens present at their recovery terms.

The Foundation spends a good portion of its budget on materials and therapies to manage children's free time, since they remain in the house, they aren't going to school and we must help them with therapeutic activities 24 hours a day.

The calming effect of an inspiring movie
The calming effect of an inspiring movie
Visits are always welcome in Casacorazones
Visits are always welcome in Casacorazones
Fitness means mental health
Fitness means mental health
Sadness  comes some days!
Sadness comes some days!
We prepare families to receive them back.
We prepare families to receive them back.

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Organization Information

Fundacion Ninos de los Andes

Location: Bogota, Cundinamarca - Colombia
Website: http:/​/​www.ninandes.org
Project Leader:
Alejandra Jaramillo
Administrative Director
Bogota, Colombia
$47,527 raised of $60,000 goal
 
273 donations
$12,473 to go
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