Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty

by ALEIMAR - Voluntary Organization
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Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
Empower 40 Colombian kids in extreme poverty
School support - Teenagers at work
School support - Teenagers at work

Dear Donors,

with this report we would like to update all of you about our project that supports 40 children and young teenagers in the center Hogar San Jeronimo in Tunja. Thanks to our local representatives, Myriam and Luis, and thanks to your help we can contribute to the work done every day by Somaschi Foundation.

The news that come from Colombia in relation to the social situation and to the security of the country are worrying. After five years from the signature of the Peace Agreements between the president Juan Manuel Santos and the captain of the Armed Revolutionary Force of Colombia (Farc) the country is facing a huge wave of violence. Frequently activists are killed and unfortunately the number of deaths is destined to increase because of the extractive oil projects and because of the intensive agriculture of coca that causes clashes among paramilitary forces, drug traffickers and guerrillas that compete for these territories.

In the end of May the new president didn’t have to face just this situation: he also had to cope with the demonstrators that in the previous months started to take to the streets to protest against the project law about the Sustainable Solidarity in order to ask for more social justice. We hope that the economic crisis that has hit the country won’t stop our local representatives from keep on supporting children and families in need. After lockdowns, school at distance and social isolation it is always more important to guarantee all the activities of the center Hogar San Jeronimo to the children hosted because the opportunities of improvement are really limited for the poorest part of the population. Thanks to your help, 40 children can receive psycho-social support, education and training as well as a safe place where they can grow.

Thank you!

School support - Teenagers at work
School support - Teenagers at work
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Dear donor,

through this report we would like to share with you few updates about Colombia and about the project that Aleimar supports in Tunja. COVID-19 pandemics, that is still touching the entire world, in Colombia has caused more than 139 thousand deaths and the World Health Organization counts more than 6 millions confirmed cases since February 2020.

More than 31 millions of people (62% of the population) have been fully vaccinated. In the country there aren’t strong restrictions due to the pandemics any more, but the government invites the population to keep a responsible behaviour, social distancing and to use face masks.

In relation to education, students of every degree had been able to come back to school and to study in person in their classrooms since the last week of January or the first week of February 2022. In this wat they have started a new school year with their classmates and teachers.

News about the current economic situation of the country are contrasting: financial journals report a good economic recovery, in particular thanks to exports; on the other hand, in the everyday life all the prices of goods of first necessity are still rising and this fact touches the most fragile part of the population.

Moreover, the security situation of the Country is still worrying: in 2021 in Colombia 145 human rights activists have been killed. The Government accuses the gangs related to drug trafficking to be the authors of these homicides.

Aleimar has supported “Hogar San Jeronimo” house in Tunja to reopen after the closure due to the pandemics. Now in the house there are 40 children that can live and study in a safe and quiet place, far from the risks of the streets that they could face during not-scholastic time. The house also assures one meal per day and this is a very important support for the children that come from really poor families.

We are thankful for your precious support that helps us to keep on working for these students involved in the project!   

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In Colombia, from the 3rd of January 2020 till the 1st of November 2021, there have been 5.000.677 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 127.258 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 29 October 2021, a total of 46.222.565 vaccine doses have been administered.

Thankfully none of our children has been affected by Covid-19, it seems that almost all of them caught a cold but recovered quickly and none of their relatives had to go to the hospital because of the pandemic. The economic situation and security in the country is worsening: the price of goods, from food to public services and building materials are doubling compared to the prices of one year ago. With the enactment of the Sustainable Solidarity Law, that lowered the minimum threshold over which citizens are obligated to pay taxes, 42.5% of the population went under the threshold of poverty and 14% under extreme poverty.

The pandemic led to the aggravation of cohabitation and relationship problems, a mom was abandoned by the father of her daughters and found herself pregnant not knowing how to provide for them. Lots of adolescents end up in criminal groups because of long wanted independence, a girl was trying to escape a promiscuous and dangerous family environment. In addition, lots of homes need renovation work.

Regular furniture of food packs has definitely contributed to helping families. The Somascan house located in Tunja (about 130 km North of Bogotá) had been closed for some months during the pandemic and when it was opened again it needed some renovation work. Aleimar took charge of painting the walls of the school rooms, the laboratories of electricians, carpentry, cooking space, bathrooms and the walls of the inner yards for €1.200. Somascan Fathers were able to offer shelter in their structure to 40 male students that otherwise would have chosen the streets, abandoned school and lost protection since in Colombia students go to school every other day. In this structure, when they’re out of school they are able to learn carpentry, mechanics and electrical work, they are helped with their homework for school and they are granted one meal a day which corresponds to the minimum required consumption, often it’s the only meal they have.

We are always grateful for the help you show us! From July till October we collected 300 USD Dollars! Please keep helping us granting shelter, food and an education to these amazing boys!

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During this last year 3,6 million of Colombians have lived in poverty conditions and 2,7 million in extreme poverty.  The effects of the pandemic and of lockdowns have been felt particularly in big cities. Just in the capital Bogotá poor people are now 3,3 million. This rate is higher for two of the worst affected categories of the Colombian society: women and young people. Youth unemployment rate is currently about 23.9%, 3.4% more than in march 2020, and it is even higher among women.

These facts explain why young people have been the protagonists of social protests, which have exploded in response to the fiscal reform of last April, project that has been withdrawn in May. According to a lot of mayors that organized the protests, this reform would have worsened the most vulnerable part of the population in the country, in particular the most affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

These protests have then embraced other claims, like the opposition to the governmental health reform. It’s clear why the most significative mobilizations have been organized in the poorest neighborhoods of big cities, where the initial already difficult situation has worsened. These are areas in which illegal groups operate and young people are possible recruits. Moreover, the relationship with the police is always tenser because of abuses, illegal detentions and threats.

In the meanwhile, Bogotá has registered during these days the higher number of Covid-19 infections since the beginning of the emergency. Colombia is facing a dramatic third wave of the pandemic and since April deaths have increased and hospitals are increasing. The World Health Organization has registered more than 4.4 million infections from the 3rd of January 2020 and July 2021.

Fortunately, all the children involved in our project haven’t been infected, but they have to keep on learning at distance without proper technological tools. Unfortunately, the center “Hogar San Jeronimo” is still temporarily closed and we are waiting for news from the government in order to restart providing educational and training programs and psychosocial support to the most vulnerable children and teenagers in Tunja. Chierici Somaschi are keeping in touch with them during after-school and are distributing food and essential goods.

We are thankful for your precious support that helps us to keep on working for these students involved in the project!   

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In Bogotá, as well as throughout Colombia, the second wave of Covid-19 has been relatively rapid compared to the first one. The rise in the cases occurred between the end of December and the beginning of January, but fortunately after one month the situation has been under control and little by little restrictions have been relaxed. Currently the employment of intensive therapies is around 60% and according to the World Health Organization the cases confirmed are 2.3 millions and the pandemic has determined 61.143 deaths in the country. The vaccination campaign has begun but it has covered just 0.05% of the total population by now. Moreover, a part of the doses arrived is destined for the Amazon, where the Brazilian variant has been identified.

With reference to education, on February 8th 2021 the government allowed the schools to reopen. Private schools were closed since December and now they have restarted their activities immediately, alternating distance teaching with teaching in presence. Differently, public schools have been completely closed since march 2020 and there will be students that will begin school with one missing school year. Children are often left to themselves: one day a week they should attend virtual classes, but most families does not have proper devices (like tablets, laptops or internet connection) and the participation rate is less than 20%. The mayor of Bogotá is urging public schools to open, but most of them do not have adequate space or enough funds in order to respect all safety rules, like buying masks and hand sanitizers.

At the beginning of the year the center "Hogar San Jeronimo" has been temporarily closed because it does not respond to organizational and professional requirements of the Government and as such is not considered a basic service that should remain open during this time of pandemics. Aleimar is working even more to bring all environments to standard and to improve the educational and training offer provided by the center. In fact, we want Hogar San Jeronimo's courses to receive professional recognition from the government. Currently, Chierici Somaschi is helping many children in the after-school to keep in touch with them and are distributing food and essential goods, but they cannot welcome them inside the center. Hogar San Jeronimo is a real point of reference for many young students of Tunja and its reopening is fundamental.

2020 has been a difficult year and 2021 is presenting all the tragic effects of this pandemic. We will keep on supporting all the children involved in the project, reassured by your support and your participation!

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Organization Information

ALEIMAR - Voluntary Organization

Location: Melzo - Italy
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AleimarOdV
Project Leader:
Francesca Moratti
Melzo, Italy
$2,033 raised of $10,000 goal
28 donations
$7,967 to go
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