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Comprehensive development of working children

€ 40.000 until 2023

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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 in the (illegal) markets in these parts of the city every day. Their grandfathers and grandmothers usually already worked here. Their parents and children are now 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. Despite the street trade, these families live in great poverty, in precarious houses and experience a lot of domestic violence. 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 curriculum. The chance that they will drop out of 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 120 families received tailor-made guidance in 2020 and 2021. They received 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 received homework support and numerous workshops to develop their talents: dance, sports and art.

The families of these children received psychosocial support. The project also explores other work opportunities since most of the families’ current work is illegal and does not offer any social protection. For example some mothers participated in baking and pastry workshops to increase their income.

New child culture

FCU works with a team of professionals, including a psychologist, an educator, 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, where FCU builds the capacity of children and young people to fight for their rights andhold local leaders accountable. For example, some children in FCU programme participate actively in dialogues about children’s rights in 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 from educational delays 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 was impossible. Their parents had often lost all or part of their work due to the strict quarantine measures. The children were expected to follow digital education at home, but they had no space, computer nor internet. In this program, an action plan was drawn up together with each family after an intake. What were the problems in the family? What did it take to be able to follow homeschooling properly? What disadvantages and learning difficulties did the student have? Families received guidance in dealing with problems, applying for government support and finding alternative forms of income. Parents also received training on how to guide their children with school work. The children had access to tutoring and homework assistance in groups of a maximum of five (in accordance with government guidelines) in one of the shelters in the neighbourhood.

“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.”



In 2021, Wereldkinderen was able to help 135 children, 50 families and 60 parents/caregivers with:

  • psychosocial support through individual therapy and group sessions
  • Conducting training and workshops on children's rights (UN convention)
  • skills training for parents
  • family crisis management