2014 Field Visit to Colombia
Roughly $273,000 collected in 2013 supports UNICEF's water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in rural southern Colombia
In late June 2014, four selected Champions, Carmi Daniels (IMA), Hector Winkelried (LIM), Beverly Watson (IDF) and Karen Anderson (JFK) had the opportunity to visit an array of UNICEF projects in Santander de Quilichao, southern Colombia. For three days they interacted with children, teachers and social workers that benefited from the Change for Good donations you helped collect. They visited water and sanitation facilities that were provided to two schools, played soccer with young people, saw programs that empower youth to raise awareness on reproductive rights and the prevention of teenage pregnancy, and met with children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and serve as leaders in their communities to eliminate stigma and promote prevention practices through creative means such as videos, photo exhibitions and more.
The Department of Cauca, which Santander de Quilichao is part of, is the second on the list with the highest poverty levels in Colombia, and is in first place with the highest level of extreme poverty. The majority of families live in rural zones with the primary job opportunities lying within the agro-industrial companies that grow sugar cane, which increases their vulnerability because they don’t have nutrition security and the availability of employment in the region is scarce.
There is a low level of basic services available, such as low coverage of treated water and limited sewage systems for disposal of solid waste. Education is also an issue in this region. While primary school level has 85% coverage, middle and secondary school is below 40%, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Click here to learn more about the issues that affect children in Colombia through Carmi’s heartfelt story and how she is even more inspired by this visit to continue to support vulnerable children as a dedicated Champion for Children and how every time you collect, you are having a tremendous impact on a child’s life.
Click here to see photos.