Unidos para Vivir Mejor's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this year:

More than 34,000 residents make up the urban community of Unidos para Vivir Mejor. Located in a mountainous region, the hilly landscape poses a real danger of landslides during the rainy season. There is a large population of young people – 52 per cent of the population is under the age of 27. Rapid urbanization has resulted from residents moving to the area from the rural countryside for work and the population influx has led many to find housing in informal and unsafe settlements. Residents of these settlements are not afforded the same rights and protections as citizens in proper housing and poverty and violence cause problems. Criminal gangs are a constant threat to residents causing them to live in fear. Neighbourhood councils provide leadership within the communities, however some councils are weak in promoting participatory democracy, and therefore exclude the representation of groups such as women and young people. Children in the community for the most part enjoy good health and attend school.
Child protection

To help children achieve their potential World Vision will:
  • Work with residents to create safe neighbourhoods and places for children
  • Collaborate with government officials and police to strengthen violence prevention plans and tactics
  • Contribute to a shift in community values that respects children as participants in decision-making
  • Teach children how to express their feelings and how to listen to others, with a focus on children aged 6-11
  • Help youth move into leadership roles so they can play a part in shaping their communities
  • Teach children they have the power to be agents of change
  • Implement digital media education campaigns online and in schools so children know how to protect themselves
  • Support parents with training on how to nurture their children with tenderness

  • World Vision will help children achieve their best in school by working to:
  • Implement programs to help boost critical thinking and technology skills
  • Run reading clubs, storytelling workshops, and festivals to help children with their literacy skills
  • Hold bullying, violence prevention and anti-drug/alcohol education sessions for teens
  • Encourage the educational community to be leaders in community improvement
  • Provide more training for teachers on technology in the classroom and innovative learning techniques to better engage students
  • Show parents how to be active participants in their child’s education
  • Work with youth to set goals and map their future

Explore Unidos para Vivir Mejor

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Unidos para Vivir Mejor

Child Protection
In Unidos para Vivir Mejor violence permeates the community and is prevalent in families. Domestic violence is common due to unequal power dynamics in gender relations. These social and cultural practices get passed down through generations. Girls and young women experience gender-based violence as well. Family dynamics can be unhealthy with children growing up with absent fathers or witnessing alcohol abuse or violence. Children have few opportunities to be involved with decisions that affect them. Parents don’t value their thoughts or feelings.
Bullying is a major concern, including cyberbullying. Misuse of social media has contributed to kids becoming online victims to criminal trafficking groups.
Safety is a concern in the community, as well.  Children are vulnerable to violence and risky behaviours in public spaces, where criminal groups and gangs loiter, police presence is limited, and community involvement in public safety is low. Because there is little access to public transportation, children walk long distances by themselves in areas with no police presence which leaves them vulnerable to attacks. There is an absence of recreational spaces and activities where children and youth can spend their free time.

In this area, teens are at risk of drugs and alcohol abuse. Many teens leave home at an early age. Violence in dating relationships can be present.
Children are behind in their literacy and critical thinking skills because teaching methods are not current.   Many schools have limited access to new technologies in the classroom. As a result, children and adolescents are unprepared for the future. This leads students to become disengaged and many are not meeting academic milestones. Because parents work long hours or may not have much education themselves, they aren’t involved in their child’s education. Schools can be unsafe and students may be exposed to violence here as well. Not all schools have appropriate measures in place to maintain a safe environment.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Unidos para Vivir Mejor,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.