Celebrating our successes
As the year draws to a close, we would like to thank all our supporters for their ongoing commitment to our work in Colombia and share some of this year's acheivements.
Two new projects
With funding from Comic Relief, we began work with our long-term partners Tiempo de Juego and Albergue Infantil to provide a positive and safe future for girls and young women associated with gangs in Bogotá. This year the project has supported over 200 girls and young women through home visits to strengthen families and provide crisis support, and weekly sport and arts activities for girls in juvenile detention centres.
We also began a successful new partnership with Circulo de Estudios in Quibdó, providing therapeutic support to 94 children who have experienced or are at high risk of conflict-related sexual violence. From 2018, we will continue this partnership with a new three-year project to further increase children's protection.
Reaching even more neglected communities
Since the signing of the peace accord, rural areas of Colombia which were formerly under the FARC’s control are beginning to open up and enabling us to access some of the country’s most neglected communities. It is an urgent priority of ours to research and begin to address the various threats to children’s rights in these regions.
This year we explored the damaging effect of mining on children in these regions. In Colombia, both legal and illegal mining put children at risk of child labour, trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and recruitment by armed groups to work in and around mines (click here to read more about this).
We have identified a potential new partner based in an extremely isolated part of western Colombia where legal and illegal mining takes place. We have begun working with their team to develop an effective, sustainable project that will protect children from immediate harm and strengthen the whole community’s capacity to protect children’s rights.
Supporting our existing partners
This year we have supported 8 partners to tackle issues of sexual and gender-based violence, commercial sexual exploitation, forced recruitment into armed groups, and reintegration into society of former child soldiers. Through their own unique, tried-and-tested approaches, each of our partners is addressing these continued threats so that children can properly enjoy the protection and opportunities that they and their communities are entitled to, now and in the future.
Our Colombia-based Project Officers have been working closely with our partners throughout the year to provide them with ongoing support. Here’s what the coordinator of our project with Tiempo de Juego said about us – “You feel like you are with someone who wants to help you and your organisation to do better. They don’t only support one project, they want to improve the organisation as a whole….and that’s not something that every donor does.”
None of this work would be possible without the support of our committed donors – so thank you to everyone who has donated, attended an event, fundraised or volunteered your time in 2017!
Be part of our next success. Together we will help children to change Colombia!