A message from the director, Ángela
We understand that everything has changed in the last few weeks, and we highly appreciate all that our supporters are doing to help us. We want to reassure you that our work with children and young people in Colombia continues. We have responded quickly to protect our staff and partners, and have supported them to adapt their projects.
We are working closely with our partners on contingency plans to guarantee the wellbeing of the communities where we work. Our partners are using available communication channels (telephone calls, instant messaging services and social networks) to keep up-to-date on the general situation of the children we work to protect from forced displacement, sexual exploitation or recruitment into armed groups. With so much uncertainty, these vulnerable young people are more at risk than ever, and the reality is that Colombia simply doesn’t have the resources available to respond in the same way that wealthier nations can. I’m sure you will have seen reports on the risks the virus poses to countries with high levels of inequality and the predictions of far greater hardships to come.
All of the children and young people our partners work with come from economically precarious families that rely on informal employment to survive each day, with little to no savings and living each day hand to mouth. With the coronavirus prevention measures, this means they cannot go to work and receive their daily income, which has made covering the rent, food and toiletries extremely difficult.
In addition to adjusting our projects, we have prioritized addressing the basic needs of the most neglected groups, and have decided to launch an emergency campaign to help alleviate the sudden and unexpected situation the children and their families find themselves in. This campaign is called “Help Colombia Covid-19”, and it has three aims; one will be to provide emergency food and toiletries, the second will be to provide short term housing subsidies, and the final aim is to provide a remote support network so that the children do not lose contact with their case workers, who are developing online and telephone based methodologies to help these children remain safe during this time.
We understand that some of you have also been affected physically and economically, and the lockdown also takes a toll on our mental wellbeing. We want to remind you that belonging to the CCC family means you are in our thoughts. If you are able to support our communities under these difficult circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Helping the most at risk in these moments can give all of us the opportunity to feel a little less powerless and remind us that in moments of crisis we can still support each other.