At the beginning of the year 2024, we are pleased to report on the outcomes of our efforts during the last months.
Building a self-sustainable food supply for the community of Marquetalia
Join us in our mission to support education of low-income rural children in Colombia
We are pleased to share our first News Letter of 2023. We highlight the support of CANPACK-Colombia with the financing of the "Finish your Highschool" Educational Program. We also thank the AMA association of Belgium for funding the 2022 theatre classes, led by Professor Ana Mazhari. Additionally, the first two bachelors of the program graduated high school in November. We will start our newsletter with the arrival of the new volunteers and we will finish it with the projects for 2023.
With our first newsletter of the year 2022, we want to announce the completion of the library started in 2019, which bears the name of our great friend Roberto Villaquiran. Thanks to his effort and dedication with his group of friends from Europe and Colombia, he gathered the funds that were missing to finish it. The chairs and tables were a gift from CANPACK Colombia.
Despite health restrictions, we had the opportunity to travel with our own funds from Brussels to the social work on 4 occasions during 2021, providing clothes, toys and didactic material for the Ludoteca. At the same time, we purchased building materials and verified the works in progress: construction of the library, renovation of the nursery for children between 0 and 5 years old and extension of the Ludoteca for young people between 6 and 15 years old.
We are happy to share our newsletter for 2021 with you.
On February 5th 2021, we inaugurated a "Garden for everyone" to encourage children to produce quality vegetables.
The first week of January 2021, our social work planted 60 fruit trees with the help of the children.
At the end of January, we organized clean up days with children between 7 and 15 years old.
Have a look at the heartwarming scenes and happy faces during our annual present distribution.
We wish you a Happy New Year! Thanks to your solidarity and support we were able to help the most vulnerable families and their children through this very hard 2020. Furthermore, the various projects we could launch make us hopeful that the community will sustain this crisis and beyond.
FDH Columbia thanks AMA (Apoya a Madres que Ayudan) for the support. Solidarity unites us and makes us better people by helping those in need.
We would like to invite you to visit this wonderful exhibition of Ikal Independent Art & Martin's Atelier, which hosts a generous charitable auction supporting our foundation.
non-profit organisation helping Colombian children in need
Who we are
In the remote villages of Palomino, Northern Colombia, the population was living under the constant fear of paramilitary activity and people being forcibly displaced for a long time. Still today it is characterised by poverty and a general lack of perspective. Tourism has brought some economic activity in the recent years. However, following the crisis in Venezuela, the numbers of incoming Venezuelan refugees has skyrocketed, which has affected these border regions in particular.
Children are often home alone or in the streets as they have nothing to play with and often struggle at school. Their parents lack the educational background and thus, have limited possibilities to support them. Basic needs such as a quiet spot to do their homework or toys that support their intellectual development are missing, leaving the children bored and frustrated in the streets. They have little perspectives for their own future leading into a downward spiral of getting involved in criminal activities or becoming parents at a very young age too and then the cycle starts to repeat with their own children.
The foundation aims to educate the children of the village so that they can have a better future. Ten years ago we built a nursery and later a playroom. This has allowed us to get to know the children better and we realised the need for teh parents to become more involved in the academic life of the youngsters. Nevertheless, some vulnerable families with low levels of education, poverty, and socio-economic problems led some their kids between 9 and 14 years old to drop out of school.
We put all our energy in recovering the schooling of these children to prevent them from being condemned to a future without options. Thus, in February 2021, we were lucky enough to meet the directors of CAN PACK COLOMBIA, who became aware of this community and approved the educational project “Finish your high school”. You will find more details here.
Our infinite thanks to CAN PACK COLOMBIA, on behalf of the children, parents and teachers of the school for the financing of the project that has allowed 16 children to return to school in 2021 and to recover all the subjects they had lost.
In 2007, Denis Heilporn, a Belgian citizen, started social work in the area by providing daily meals to children. Sadly, Denis Heilporn passed away in 2009 and Javier Palacio initiated the foundation in his honor, following the request of his mother Andrée Heilporn Marissal. His initiative has grown over the years and today we employ local staff as well as provide the necessary facilities in order to create a perspective for the ones in need. We aim to keep administrative cost to an absolute minimum, donations go directly to the local community of Marquetalia. Javier runs the foundation ad honorem and all efforts in connection with the foundation are fully voluntary. With the generous support of donors we are able to give them access to educational books, toys and basic healthcare.
- NURSERY | Children between 0 to 5 years can play in the foundation’s nursery.
- TUTORING | We provide daily homework support for children with difficulties.
- BOOKS AND READING SPACE | There is a reading space and children’s books are provided.
- TOY LIBRARY | Daily activities for children, using games and toys to stimulate physical and mental development as well as social interaction.