For the last 60 years Cruzada Social has helped vulnerable children from low-income districts (many of them orphans or from displaced families) in Manizales to improve their living conditions by providing them with free lunches and education and giving them an alternative to drugs and crime.
Manizales, a city located in one of the main Colombian coffee regions, La Zona Cafetera, suffers from high level of poverty. Almost 30% of the population lives in problematic neighborhoods under very difficult conditions where a huge number of children and young people grow up in violent environments with limited access to electric power, water, or good food. Lack of resources, education and encouragement doesn't allow them to hope for regular jobs and to leave the poverty cycle.
Their only solution and hope to escape the poverty cycle and join society in a dignified way is through education, motivation, and good nutrition supporting adequate growth.
Cruzada Social provides healthy food and education for these children and young people. We provide pedagogical reinforcement, social behavior instruction, cultural and athletics classes taught by qualified educators and psychologists. At the moment we provide lunch for almost 500 children and education for 325 children.
Our goal is to expand the number of children provided with lunch to 1000 and increase the number of children attending our provided classes to 500. We would also like to double the length of class time for each child by increasing the hours per week from 4 to 8.
Our mission is to decrease social inequality and prevent vulnerable children from becoming involved in drugs and crime by improving their job skills and allowing them to better integrate into society and escape the poverty cycle.