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Talent development of working children

€ 40.000 up to and including 2022

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2 neighborhoods in Bogotá

Protecting the rights of working children and young people in Bogota

Child labor is common in the "20 de Julio" and "Caracolí" neighborhoods in Bogota. Children and their families work on the (illegal) markets in these parts of the city every day. Their grandfathers and grandmothers usually already worked here, now their parents and children are learning the work to be able to run their street business independently in the future. Almost all of them are migrants who ended up in Bogota due to poverty and / or violence, more or less ago. Despite the street trade, these families live in great poverty, live in slums and there is a lot of violence within the families. These families run a high risk of falling apart and the children ending up permanently on the street. The children don't go to school very often, and it is therefore more difficult to keep up with the class. The chance that they will leave school is high.


Our partner organization Fundación Creciendo Unidos (FCU) has developed a program for these children (on average between 5 and 16 years old). In total, 200 vulnerable children from a total of 120 families will receive tailor-made guidance in 2020 and 2021. They receive support in the field of health (vaccinations, healthy lifestyle, access to care), guidance in the event of abuse (including sexual and domestic violence). They also receive homework support and numerous workshops to develop their talents: dance, sports and art.

The families of these children receive psychosocial support and are involved as much as possible in the work with the children. It is also checked with the parents whether other work is an option, because their stalls are illegal. The mothers can participate in baking and pastry workshops to increase their income.

New child culture

FCU works with a team of professionals, inclusive of a psychologist, an educationalist, a social worker, a dance teacher and two teachers.

Apart from that, (local) government agencies for child and youth policy cooperate with FCU to respect and apply children’s rights better. These activities fit in a more general vision, with regard to which FCU offers children and young people the ability to demand their rights and to work on a new child culture. This regards, for example, participating actively on a dialogue about children’s rights in so-called child assemblies.

The project of FCU will be funded at least until 2022. 

Extra educational support during the corona pandemic

Because a large group of children have suffered major educational disadvantages due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Wereldkinderen has also supported an intensive counseling program for 80 boys and girls (5-17 years) for whom home education is virtually impossible since June 2020. Their parents have often lost all or part of their work due to the strict quarantine measures. The children are expected to follow digital education at home, but they have no space, a computer or internet. In this program, an action plan is drawn up together with each family after an intake. What are the problems in the family? What does it take to be able to follow homeschooling properly? What disadvantages and learning difficulties does the student have? Families receive guidance in dealing with problems, applying for government support and finding alternative forms of income. Parents also receive training in how best to guide their children with school work. The children can receive tutoring and homework assistance in groups of a maximum of five (in accordance with government guidelines) in one of the shelters in the neighborhood.

“I’ve come here since I was five years old. When I come here, we eat and then I make my homework. In general I get good grades in school. The psychologist asks me how I am doing, how I am treated at home, what I like doing. I made friends here. We play football together and I learned to not fight others, for it is just a game. I feel happy here and I learn a lot.”