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Our Newsletters: 2019

 

Dancing in the street - Autumn 2019

“I’m learning skills that will help me for the rest of my life,” enthuses 13-year-old Alicia from Quibdó. “The project has kept me and my friends away from violence and helped us discover our talents.

"Horrible things used to happen at home that made me cry and made me angry. I didn’t know what to do so I used to self-harm - it was the only thing that calmed me down. Now I’ve left that all behind and express myself through dancing and singing! It’s taught me to respect my body and share my emotions instead of bottling them up. Dancing inspires me and makes me happy!

People have a negative image of our neighbourhood. They’re scared to come here because they think we are all bad people and drug addicts. It is true that life here is tough – some boys from my street have joined gangs and many girls my age are pregnant. Their parents are hardly ever around to pay them attention.

As part of the project, we’ve put on plays and dance performances which have helped people in the city to see a different side to our neighbourhood. They’ve seen that people here work hard, have talent and a desire to do something positive with their lives.

Children in my class used to say rude things to me about where I am from, but since watching me perform in public they see me differently. I have more friends now and they want me to teach them what I’ve learnt.”

Download the full newsletter as a PDF here 

 

The chance of a better education : Spring 2019

“Me and my friends dream of getting a better education,” says 12-year old Cristina. She lives with her mum in a small village on the banks of the San Juan River, which flows through the jungles of western Colombia into the Pacific Ocean. 

As in other remote parts of Colombia, schools in the San Juan region face huge challenges – attainment is far below the national average, buildings are crumbling and poorly-equipped, and it is extremely difficult to find teachers who are willing to work there. Classrooms are being deserted as more and more pupils drop out to work or join armed groups – both seemingly attractive options for children living in extreme poverty.

“It’s beautiful where I live,” she told us, “but there’s lots of things we don’t have – healthcare, good housing, education – and the armed conflict is causing us more and more problems.”

We believe that just because Cristina and her classmates live in one of the remotest parts of their country, it doesn’t mean they should have fewer opportunities than children elsewhere. 

Download the full newsletter as a PDF here