Vida En Comunidad

Vida En Comunidad's Community News

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Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

Located on the outskirts of Santiago de Cali, the Vida en Comunidad community is a very violent area. From the outside, the community appears quite ordinary " neat row houses built by the government, buses easily available. Despite appearances, however, there is great danger here, especially for children. The tiny, one-bedroom homes are chronically overcrowded. The result of government housing projects, the community was originally intended to shelter families fleeing civil unrest in other parts of the country.

Now, the area is controlled by rival gangs from the Afro or the mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European) populations. Gangs control specific streets that have become their territory, and the environment is like an urban civil war. Yet, both groups " in fact the whole community " are shunned and excluded from the wider society.

Children here live under constant threat of gang and domestic violence. Many are pressured into militia groups to carry arms and ply drugs. With little hope for change, many children and youth abandon school to work and help their families survive. Jobs opportunities are often withdrawn or services denied to people who live in the area once their address becomes known, so unemployment is rampant. Families lack the education needed to get better jobs, so they survive from day to day on low wages as domestic and construction workers, selling goods, or begging on the streets.
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Develop activities in partnership with other agencies involved in education that will help children stay in school.
  • Train volunteers to monitor children and work with them and their parents to help ensure that children are motivated to stay in and succeed at school.
  • Improve the quality of education through training and support of strong parent and teacher groups.

Child Protection
To ensure children and youth enjoy a safe and protected environment, World Vision will work to:
  • Mount community campaigns to raise public awareness of issues, like child abuse and child rights.
  • Work with families, children, the local government, and private organizations to promote a culture of peace that helps bring people together to improve the lives of children and teens.
  • Train volunteers through formal and non-formal education, and support them to lead change in the community.
  • Support volunteers to work directly with families to help change behaviours that are harmful to children.
  • Train and work alongside community representatives to monitor children's health, education, and community participation.
  • Strengthen and establish child, youth, faith, and community groups that can prioritize, organize, and manage development initiatives.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Vida en Comunidad can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Provide vocational training to youth and adults in skills that are in demand.
  • Help graduates find employment or alternative ways to make money.
  • Train families in entrepreneurial skills, including developing a business plan.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Teach community members, especially parents, about good healthcare and prevention practices, such as personal hygiene, household sanitation, etc.
  • Train community volunteers to monitor children's health, and work directly with parents to ensure that they are improving their care practices at home.
  • 3 interest groups and networks participated in spaces of influence in public policy
  • 50 youth attended advocacy events and participated in advocacy activities
Child Protection
  • 5 trained participants are now in favour of advocating for the well-being and protection of children and youth
  • 5  community partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors worked with World Vision over the past year, improving the lives of children.
  • 2  families received emergency assistance such as food, tents or water purification tablets, so that children had their basic needs met after a crisis.
  • 80 people were trained in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management 
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore Vida En Comunidad

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 Vida En Comunidad

There are many factors at play in Vida en Comunidad that prevent children from receiving the benefits of a good education. Beyond the climate of gang rivalry, parents often don't earn enough income to provide for their children's needs, such as educational resources and materials. They also lack education themselves, and as such are unable to provide children with the support and encouragement they need to stay in school. As they grow older, it is increasingly common for children to drop out of school in order to earn more money for the family.

Child Protection
In these small, overcrowded homes, parents and children sleep in the same bed. Children as well as women are vulnerable to abuse " sexual, physical and emotional. When a family's income cannot meet basic needs, the needs of their children are not always prioritized. The fact that their community remains locked in a war between rival gangs means that children become even more susceptible to endangerment. At home, they face abuse and family violence, while on the streets they are easy prey to gangs and their crimes.

Economic Development
Many parents in the community lack education and training, as well as the skills required for in demand jobs. When combined with the ongoing discrimination that residents of Vida en Comunidad face on a daily basis, this means that parents are often unable to secure better paying jobs. A large number of community members are unemployed, while others earn low wages in informal jobs as maids and construction labourers, or by selling and begging on the streets of the city.

Health Care
Parents in the community lack knowledge about good preventive healthcare practices that can protect their children's health. As a result, their children continue to endure preventable and treatable illnesses. With how difficult it is for parents to earn enough money to cover the most basic necessities of their families, children's healthcare needs are sometimes not prioritized.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Vida En Comunidad,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.