SOS Social Centres in Colombia

In Colombia there are currently 16 Social Centres for children and the local community, including those in Ipiales, Cartagena and Cali.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community.  Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Colombia:

SOS Social Centres around Colombia: In-Depth

Bogota (Nueva Vida and Cazucá)

Description of SOS Social Centres/FSP’s:

SOS Social Centres "Nueva Vida" and "Cazucá" are part of the SOS Children's Village Bogotá. The SOS Social Centre "Nueva Vida" (new life) emerged from an SOS Children's Villages project to support street children, and offers supervision to 75 single mothers and their children. The SOS Social Centre comprises three classrooms for child-care, three rooms for educational advice, an assembly room, a library, a sick ward, a kitchen, a dining room, and the necessary additional rooms. In two workshops, women can be trained in tailoring, broom-making, and hairdressing, enabling them to stabilise their social standing through increased qualifications.

The SOS Social Centre Cazucá was opened in 2000, and consists of three classrooms, two seminar rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a playground. The SOS Social Centre offers day-care for up to 250 children and youths, in order to keep them away from the streets, and provides a regular, balanced diet.

Work and Achievements:

For the Social Centre Nueva Vida, 2009 was a year of important decisions and beautiful experiences which showed us that every good seed will be harvested. Faced with displacement of families due to the work on the infrastructure that has been ordered by the district administration in the centre of Bogota (Plan Zonal Centro), the community organization, has been strengthened and is showing now more leadership in guiding and running the Community Centres. The boys and girls of the Social Centre went on a camp in August as a result of their recycling and cooperative project. And finally in November, after having made reflections and different experiences in the field of right of good treatment accompanied by their teacher, they attended the CADEL (Centro de Administración Educativa Local – Local Education Administrative Centre), and settled a document of suggestions for an amicable coexistence in their schools.

The Social Centre Cazucá, located in the south of the capital of Colombia, currently welcomes 260 boys and girls, 160 of early childhood and 100 of middle childhood together with their 170 families. After 8 years of working with communities faced with vulnerability and displacement, the Social Centre continues focussing on the protection of boys and girls through complementary programs in areas of conflict.

For this opportunity we're going to tell you how the program advances activities for the family strengthening in the course of the rights of the children to have a family. The first Saturday of each month a person delegated by each family attends an appointment at the Social Centre Cazucá with other families in the community and a trainer who guides the workshops. They share their knowledge and experiences about family integration.

Cali

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre Cali has been offering family strengthening programmes since 2007. Vulnerable families are organised in so-called family committees which run community homes and child-minding centres in community spaces; these homes and centres are self-organising and self-managing, with SOS Children's Villages providing training and capacity building.

Work and achievements:

The Family Strengthening Program and the program of Community Development of the Aldea Infantil – Cali has been developed from the branches in Cali: The Social Centre Las Minas and the and Community Centers Alto Nápoles y Prados del sur located in the marginal zone on the slope of the Community 18.

Through this process 163 boys and girls and 144 boys and girls in 12 foster families paid by the ICBF within the framework of Hogar Múltiple (Multiple Homes) located in three branches, have been assisted. The rest are part of the Program for Second Childhood in the Social Centre Las Minas. These installations work with the accompaniment of the Montessori program of the Foundation Carvajal y Narrativa Poética y memoria de la Universidad del Valle which has allowed us to finish the year with measurements in the abbreviated development scale of height and medium height for gross motor skills (85%), fine motor skills (74%), hearing and speech (77%) and for personal-social issues (84%).

Cartagena

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

There is an SOS Social Centre, which offers family strengthening programmes. Vulnerable families are organised in so-called family committees which run community homes and child-minding centres in community spaces; these homes and centres are self-organising and self-managing, with SOS Children's Villages providing training and capacity building.

Ipiales

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

Since 2005, an SOS Social Centre has formed part of the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales. The SOS Social Centre is run as a day-care centre and has a capacity of up to 420 children. The day-care centre is particularly valuable to single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning money for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors. Information events are held on health, balanced diets and other health issues. Supporting women is also a central concern. Further vocational training in a range of manual work is available for women, so as to improve single mothers' qualifications and therefore increase their income and improve their societal status.

Floridablanca-Bucaramanga

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

Since January 2006, an SOS Social Centre has formed part of the SOS Children’s Village Floridablanca-Bucaramanga. The SOS Social Centre is run as a day-care centre and has a capacity of up to 150 children from 0 to 12 years. The day-care centre is particularly valuable to single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning money for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors. Information events are held on health, balanced diets and other health issues. Supporting women is also a central concern. Further vocational training in a range of manual work is available for women, so as to improve single mothers' qualifications and therefore increase their income and improve their societal status.

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With SOS Children, all sponsored children get education, food, medical care and a loving family from the charity.