Last April a tragedy hit Putumayo’s capital, Mocoa, in Colombia. A night of extremely heavy rain caused rivers to overflow, causing floods and landslides and destroying homes and entire neighbourhoods. Due to the magnitude of the disaster, the Colombian Government declared the country in a state of emergency.
As a result, a group of Colombian students in the UK came together and created the Rebuild Mocoa initiative. Hundreds of students and community individuals worked together over the last months organising a variety of fundraising events in support of the children affected by the disaster.
The activities organised by the members of the Rebuild Mocoa initiative included music and dance performances like Voices for Mocoa and the Makondo Latin American Live Music and Cinema, a premiere screening of the film Aislados, a Colombian production directed by Daniela Lizcano, plays, exhibitions and yoga classes, among others.
Thanks to their massive effort, commitment, enthusiasm and with the help of individual donors through the Just Giving page, the REbuild Mocoa initiative raised over £14,000 that will fund a project which will be carried out by Children Change Colombia's partner organisation Casa Amazonia between June and December this year.
Children Change Colombia and Casa Amazonia started to work together in 2016 with a project focused on helping indigenous children in rural Putumayo to protect themselves from sexual violence and forced recruitment by armed groups.
Through the new project funded by the Rebuild Mocoa initiative, Casa Amazonia will support children in Mocoa to recover from the emotional trauma caused by the landslide. Children will learn about their rights, and they will gain the confidence and skills needed to make practical, fully informed demands of the authorities responsible for protecting them and their communities and recovering what has been lost.