Newsletter 2024

Newsletter 2024

Educational Support Programme

At the start of 2024, we are delighted to provide an update on the outcomes of the educational program “Complete Your High School,” which was established by our foundation over two years ago with the generous support of CANPACK Colombia. Our program has benefited 35 young students of various ages since its inception.

Of the 35 students, 17 who had prematurely left school due to economic reasons or learning difficulties; 4 of them have achieved the title of “Academic Bachelor,” with one having finished primary school and has now started secondary education.

By the end of 2023, we successfully enrolled 20 students who have incorporated positive routines into their lives, feel valued, have advanced in their oral and written communication skills, and are beginning to dream of a better future with more opportunities, thanks to the education and support they are receiving.

The students attend the Foundation’s Ludoteca daily for the monitoring of their tasks, and to receive support from teaching staff. This is crucial as their homes lack a suitable space for studying, and their parents or relatives are unable to provide such support due to their precarious living conditions. The educational program includes daily snacks that help them recharge their energy levels for optimal physical and mental performance.

Educational Program Teachers

They support young people in their daily tasks, teach them to overcome learning difficulties, develop skills, communicate effectively, and solve problems. They instil the importance of a healthy diet and physical exercise.

Clothing and Uniform Collection in Belgium

Our non-profit foundation, comprised of volunteers, collaborates with the AMA Association in Belgium, a group of Colombian mothers based in Belgium who are working tirelessly to support the young generation in Colombia.

This clothing is then sent to Colombia and distributed among the young participants in our program, contributing significantly to their development and self-esteem. Our foundation, led by its president, is responsible for transporting the clothing to Colombia for free. They also generously distribute football jerseys donated by a Belgian club. Please see the photographs at the end of this newsletter.

Before our contributions, clothing was a scarcity

Meanwhile we are even in a position to provide some sportswear

Facilities and Employee

Our charitable work provides facilities and covers the monthly costs of cleaning, equipment maintenance, electricity, and internet services. It also covers the salary of an employee who coordinates and carries out the tasks assigned by the foundation.

English Classes

As part of our charitable work, on an annual basis, we host volunteers, mostly foreign youths, providing them with accommodation in exchange for teaching English and providing support to the students in our charitable work.

It is an enriching experience for both parties, with some discovering a new culture and others learning a new language, all while making new friends and connections.

During 2023, we received support from individuals such as Isabella Camargo and Sergio Jimenez from Colombia, Maria Astrid Ghion and Eloi Gutierrez from Belgium, and Idir Houali and Aude Lecheren from France. The feedback received from all of them at the end of their stay and work in the charitable work is overwhelmingly positive, and they leave with the personal satisfaction of having contributed their part to improving the living conditions of a vulnerable community.

Challenges for 2024

The foundation is currently working, with a group of friends, on financing a computer room that is set to begin construction in the first semester of 2024. This room will enhance the educational program for young people as they receive IT training, an essential skill in today’s world.

However, CANPACK Colombia, the company supporting the educational program, due to unforeseen circumstances, can only fund it until the end of April 2024. Therefore, our priority is focused on the continuity of the Educational Program, for the reasons outlined at the beginning of this newsletter. Marquetalia, Magdalena, where our charitable work is based, is a low-income community where it is expected that children work from a very young age to support their parents with household expenses.

It is more than a two-hour bus ride from the city of Santa Marta, home to several universities and technical institutions, but this involves a significant cost in terms of money and time, preventing young people from the possibility of further education or acquiring a profession. For this reason, a computer room would provide them with the opportunity to do so remotely.

We trust that we can successfully complete this project, as well as continue the Educational Program, enabling young people to attain their high school diploma and, at the same time, acquire IT skills that allow them to study online regardless of their location, paving the way for a future with more opportunities.

We are confident in moving forward with this project with the determined and generous support of all our friends, sponsors in and volunteers, for whom we are grateful. We take this opportunity to wish you and your families a great start to the year 2024.

 

Would you like to support us too? We are currently looking for funds to construct educational computer rooms.

 

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in supporting us, have any questions, or know someone keen to volunteer. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

We are confident in moving forward with this project with the determined and generous support of all our friends, sponsors, and volunteers, for whom we are grateful. We take this opportunity to wish you and your families a great 2024.

Sincerely,
Javier Palacio