For more than 40 years Colombia has suffered from civil war, poverty, insecurity, corruption and drug trafficking. Of its 45 million people, nearly 40% are children. In the last 20 years, four million people have been forced to leave their homes because of the fighting. Many end up living in shanty towns or on the streets, where they have little access to healthcare or education. Colombia is also one of the most inequitable societies in the world. Two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line.
Generations of children have known only violence and poverty. Armed groups regularly recruit children. There are up to 14,000 child soldiers. Many children also face violence at home, as the burden of displacement and poverty leads to family breakdown, abuse and exploitation.
What we do
With the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Save the Children Canada operates a project called As we learn we grow in the Region of Nariño in the south of the country. This project guarantees children who have been affected by armed conflict the right to a quality, inclusive education. Twenty-two schools in six municipalities take part in the project and an additional 344 schools in rural areas also benefit.
By May 2013 we aim to:
Give 2,600 out-of-school children access to flexible education models
Ensure at least 36,000 children and youth benefit from an improved educational environment and practices in their schools
Train 2,000 teachers to use inclusive educational strategies
Provide 22,000 boys and girls improved education and a socio-cultural foundation of peace
Provide 1,000 parents/caregivers training in child rights, positive parenting, gender, peace-building and citizenship through workshops
To achieve our goals, we work with educational institutions, national and regional government and civil organizations.
How you can help
Support our vital work by making a donation today.
Photo credit: Dan Alder