Comic Relief grant a huge boost to our work
We are delighted to announce that we have secured a grant from Comic Relief to work with our partners Tiempo de Juego and AIMY to provide a positive and safe future for girls and young women associated with gangs in Bogota.
The grant is a recognition of the seriousness of the threats that children continue to face in Colombia today, and of the expertise of Children Change Colombia and our partners in effectively protecting children from risk.
Ours is one of a number of projects to receive funding from Comic Relief to address the issue of girls in gangs, with other grant recipients based in the UK, Bogota (Colombia) and Cape Town (South Africa).
At an international level, there is a lack of meaningful data around numbers of young women and girls who are associated with gangs. However, across the board there is strong recognition that any figures would underestimate the actual numbers as these girls and young women are hidden, less likely to come to the attention of authorities and are often incredibly vulnerable to exploitation.
Evidence shows that gang-involved girls and young women navigate a range of harmful environments which can expose them to high levels of sexual exploitation and increased criminal activity. The significant harm caused by sexual violence within gangs is often over-looked as the focus on addressing gang issues remains on physical violence, gun and knife crime.
Girls’ involvement in gangs is clearly a neglected issue in Colombia; one which we will address through this new project.
This project will draw on our partners’ expertise by working with families and the juvenile justice system to protect girls at high risk of recruitment from becoming linked with gang activity and support those who are already gang members to take action to reduce the risks that they face within gangs.
Receiving this Comic Relief grant is a huge achievement for us and our partners and is, in large part, a result of the expertise that Tiempo de Juego and AIMY’s teams have developed through their years of partnership with us.
We would like to thank all our supporters whose generous donations played a part in making our recent partnerships with Tiempo de Juego and AIMY such successes and in doing so helped make this new project possible!