Bucaritos's Community News

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: 2016

The urban Colombian community of Bucaritos is home to over 500,000 residents and is found roughly 400 km away from the nation's capital, Bogota. Residents of this large area live in different neighbourhoods, some of which are significantly worse off than others. In particular, settlements created by those who migrate to find work, escape armed conflict or are forcibly displaced from their homes, are not safe for children and families and lack basic services. These settlements are often built with scrap materials such as recycled wood, plastic and cans and are exposed to issues such as crime, violence and territorial gangs.

This vulnerable state not only affects children's safety, happiness and wellbeing, but also disrupts family dynamics and can end in broken homes and relationships. Lack of values and disrespect for neighbours and community are common. As a result, community members often don't prioritize health or children's education and protection. A lack of resources and training prevents many from fully understanding and enforcing children's rights.
  • 110 people learned about child rights and protection issues, helping ensure children's safety and participation.
  • 110 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being.
  • 1,632 children received the resources they need to learn including school fees, supplies, books and uniforms.
  • 300 preschool children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education.
  • 1,080 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps.
  • 2 clubs are in place for children and youth to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities.
  • 152 children and youth were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication.
  • 300 parents and caregivers learned how to provide proper nutrition to their children and protect them from diseases.

Explore Bucaritos

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 Bucaritos

Health Care
In Bucaritos, the health and well-being of children is a primary concern. Access to health care is limited, and many families must travel 40 minutes by foot to find the nearest clinic. Patients arrive at dawn and wait for several hours to see a doctor, but a shortage of trained staff means many return home without treatment.

Specialized care is only provided by the nearest hospital, which is 40 minutes away by car and over an hour away by bus. The hospital care is expensive, and few emergency or expert services are offered. Parents lack information to help prevent disease and illness and promote healthy, sanitary practices, which are key in protecting the well-being of children and families.

Another main issue the community is keen on tackling is the quality of and access to education. Many children do not receive the mentoring and encouragement necessary to be able to complete their school work successfully. This is reflected in the high percentage of children who repeat grades, and those who eventually drop out altogether. Families often struggle to afford the costs of uniforms, necessary supplies, and transportation. Many students must walk 40 minutes to and from school, a distance that leaves them vulnerable. Children and youth with disabilities have neither access to treatment nor options for special education.

If enrolled in school, many students are left without basic necessities, such as clean water and sanitary facilities. Children under the age of five do not have proper daycare, and families in general are unable to efficiently organize themselves in order to influence change that will improve these conditions in the community's schools.

Child Protection
One of the most pressing issues in Bucaritos is the lack of child protection initiatives to keep children safe. In the community, there are only five recreational parks and green spaces, and those are often overrun by local criminals. In addition to these areas being limited in number, the local government does not properly maintain the existing spaces, leading children to play in unsafe conditions.

Increasing crime rates, violence between neighbours, theft, and early drug use, combined with a general lack of knowledge and respect for the rights of children and the law, create an environment where the welfare and development of children are at serious risk.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Bucaritos,  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.