Children in Colombia
Though the situation may be better in the city, many children in Colombia live on the streets, making a living from begging, labour and crime.
Of the huge numbers that are orphaned or abandoned, many are recruited by street gangs which specialise in violence and drug abuse.
Children who still have their parents often end up working to support the entire family, perhaps washing car windscreens, selling merchandise on the street, or collecting reusable items from waste tips.
Children are not safe from the war. Thousands of child soldiers are trained to kill or be killed in Colombia’s internal conflict.
Our Children's Villages in Colombia
Today, SOS Children’s Villages supports hundreds of children in Colombia. We house orphaned and abandoned children in our Villages, and support families in the wider community. By offering children a loving family and somewhere secure to live, we help them succeed in adult life. Through vocational and academic training, we are breaking the cycle which has trapped generations in poverty and creating a better life for many of Colombia’s children.
In 1971, we opened our first village in Colombia, in the country's capital of Bogota. Here, children who cannot live with their own family are given a new start in an SOS family home. Meanwhile, our Family Strengthening Programmes keep families together, helping parents earn a decent wage while their children benefit from day care.
In 1985 a volcanic eruption buried the city of Amero under a sea of mud and led us to build our second SOS Children's Village in Ibagué, the capital of the province of Tolima and about 30 miles south of the disaster area.
The SOS School provides primary and secondary education for children from both the Village and the wider community, ensuring our children remain very much a part of Ibagué society. A clinic at the Village is also open to local people, helping to maintain a healthy community. Likewise, children from the Village and the community at large learn side by side at our vocational training and social centre
Our work in Rionegro began in 1996. Out in the community, our Family Strengthening Programmes work to hold families together, helping parents manage financial hardship without abandoning their children. With our help, many young mothers have been able to enter work and support their children, ensuring that these young people grow up in a loving family setting and enjoy a better childhood.
Our SOS Youth Programme gives young people a sense of purpose in life, offering training or the opportunity to benefit from higher education.
Our Village in the Venezualan border city of Floridablanca has been active since 1999. Children are cared for by loving SOS mothers in a a family home.
Where violence in the home or poverty has so often led to child abandonment, our Family Strengthening Programmes hold families together, allowing children to enjoy schooling, friendship and play while their parents earn a living. We provide day-care to parents so they can go out and work, their children in safe hands.
In 2003, we opened our fifth Colombian Village in the small town of Ipiales in the south of the country, near the border with Ecuador. In the community, childminding and day-care allows parents to earn a living while their children spend the day in safe hands. Our SOS Youth Programme enables children to learn a trade or go on to higher education, ensuring a better future for Ipiales.
SOS Children's Village Cali opened in 2009. It has 14 family houses and includes an SOS Social Centre that runs a Family Strengthening Programme.
Cartagena de Indias
The popular tourist resort of Cartagena draws many people from around the world. Some come to take advantage of the city's sex industry, and many children are the victims of exploitation. Our Children's Village provides a safe, caring environment for Cartagena's most vulnerable children.
In 1985, a volcanic eruption decimated the population of Armero, and in the aftermath, the municipality of Amero-Guayabal was created. We came to the area two years later in order to provide security to families suffering the fallout of the disaster. Almost two decades on, we continue to work with struggling families, enabling them to provide a more secure upbringing for the region's most vulnerable children.
Fundación Aldeas Infantiles SOS Colombia
Att. Padrinazgo Internacional
Cr. 45 A #94-87 Barrio La Castellana
Tel: +57/1/634 80 49