¡Going Forward in the Fight Against Child Labor!
Erwin Suárez and Alejandra Hinestroza have already spent two weeks working in the municipalities of Remedios and Segovia, Antioquia, Colombia. The first challenge they had to face was the physical access to the field, which had to be done in a small plane due to the difficult geography of the region.
So far they have already developed workshops with students and teachers, and started home visits. The objective of the program is to implement a social intervention that will prevent Child Labor and will empower the community to support the children in their education process. An important part of this job is to develop extracurricular activities with the students (sports and arts) where they can explore their potential in sports and arts instead of working.
Some quotes from our team in the field are “The Children are very loving and in the school they already acknowledge us and our work. The economic and social conditions of the region are very poor: 80% of the houses are made up with costal fabric and they don’t have light, water or sewerage system. This motivates me to keep working with these kids, to bring them the happiness that they need”. Karen Alejandra Hurtado.
“The inhabitants are very supportive of our work. We have learned about the culture,the regional manners and their food… To have the opportunity to start the implementation of the program has been a great experience thanks to the working team”. Erwin SuárezPosted: Oct. 10, 2011
What Our Children Say
This is the testimony of one Colombian children benefited with the Proniño program by Telefonica Foundation. This encourages the CJCF (Corporación Juntos Construyendo Futuro) each day to keep transforming the future of children. In his words we find sorrow for the situations he lived in the past, but now he is happy to find a place where he could learn many things that allow him to live better his childhood.
“I started working when I was 9 years old, I helped my parents with the household expenses selling candy in the streets and with the earnings during the weekend, I bought my things. I felt really bad because on the street I bumped into bad people who “bothered me” for being a boy and sometimes I did not sell everything; at the beginning I was happy to work with my dad because I was more time with him, but then I got bored and what I wanted was to play with other kids who lived near to my house and to go to school without being tired because of sun and rain, which made me get a cold and it was difficult to breath. My grandmother says that’s why. I should be in sixth grade of high school now, but when I was in third grade I was moved out from school because at home there was no money and nothing to eat. At school I was not doing very well because I got distracted too fast and I felt shame of going to the board for fear of being wrong. Now I am 12 years old and since I entered the Proniño program I don’t work anymore, I like it because we take trips. I´m in the dance club and I practice Capoeira, and also I had never played a drum and learned to play it here. “
Maikol Andrés Vizcaino. 12 years old beneficiary from Barranquilla, Colombia. (Taken from Newsletter ONE CJCF 2011)Posted: June 21, 2011
ICT: A Mean for Child Labor Eradication
Information and Communication Technologies are becoming an important tool to prevent and eradicate child labor. The organization and civil society mobilization through internet and social networks with information about the subject, promotes stakeholder awareness. Also media outlets are important to address children’s issues because they get interested in doing dissemination of problems affecting our children and adolescents.
In CJCF (Building Future Together) we strengthen from the educational context, the methodologies, the resources, the ways and styles of teaching-learning tools that are used in educational institutions in the country. We must work not only in infrastructure and ICTs access, but also in the training of teachers who are key in the process of teaching children and adolescents. All this work helps us fight against child labor in schools, improving educational quality.
The social networks and virtual communities become the most popular services on the internet that children and adolescents most frequently access in their free time, therefore it should be sought from that channel of communication, an effective strategy with students. Besides, the teachers well-trained will have the ability to innovate and generate in their students a degree of motivation and greater awareness.
Child labor should be offset from the daily act of all people as social agents who are interested in defending the rights of children, mobilizing from social networks with active participation in the disseminating ideas and strategies to eliminate child labor, which is a reality in our country.Posted: may 19, 2011
Juntos Construyendo Futuro (Building Future Together) Works on Child Issues in Colombia
Today, Colombian society faces many problems, among which we find illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, prostitution, drug addiction, internal migration among others; but when we talk about children, it is important to work to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of this vulnerable population, that is why Juntos Construyendo Futuro has focused its efforts on providing tools that allow Colombian children to have future.
Among those rights commonly violated is the quality of education. In this field Juntos Construyendo Futuro carries out projects that contribute to the improvement of educational quality, fostering favorable environments where children can develop citizenship skills that allow them to exercise healthy living practices and actively participate in society.
A problem that promotes that children quit school education is the lack of adequate nutrition. Juntos Construyendo Futuro develops projects related to providing high quality school meals, along with programs of home gardens, for parents to work and help their homes with food crops for themselves. These projects have been shown that continuous work with parents facilitates the permanence of children in school, increasing their level of attention.
Children in Colombia suffer of child labor, a problem leading to more poverty among the population, because many parents look in their sons and daughters, a source of income for their home, denying them the opportunity to study. In this sense, every day we are joining forces with prevention and eradication programs related to child labor, raising community awareness on the issue, to not violate the rights of children. Likewise, these efforts are complemented by income-generating programs for families, to encourage the family income and children do not have to work and can live fully as children.
Human rights is an issue in which we constantly work on, as a result of the experiences of violence and forced displacement, that many communities live in the country, the fundamental rights and forms of participation are not respected. Therefore, from the CJCF, we implement actions to facilitate the enjoyment of the rights of youth, training them on topics of civic participation and community animation, to develop their communication and leadership skills.
All these problems related to boys, girls, teenagers and young people, are those that define the focus of the work of the CJCF (Building Future Together) day by day, to make happiness reach everywhere.Posted: April 26, 2011
Juntos Construyendo Futuro (Building Future Together) also Joined the Campaing “Remangate”
As part of the commemoration of the International Day for Antipersonnel Mine Awareness (April 4th) the campaign “Remangate” was held , it was promoted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Presidential Program for the Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines (PAICMA) of the Vice-presidency of the Republic of Colombia and the Social Enterprise Group Archangels.
Juntos Construyendo Futuro, also joined this initiative, participating actively from the cities where it develops projects and programs. This was done through a symbolic act that consisted in bending one leg of the pants as a sign of disagreement with the use of antipersonnel mines in the country, and putting each of us in the shoes of all persons who have been victims of this silent enemy of the conflict.
Posted: April 08, 2011
Juntos Construyendo Futuro (CJCF) Promotes the Respect of Children and Youth’s Rights in Chocó, Colombia.
In 2010 CJCF developed important projects in subjects of cohabitation, empowerment and children and youth’s rights, especially in the Chocó department of Colombia. Chocó is one of the poorest regions in Colombia with most population being of indigenous or afro descent.
One of its projects was developed in partnership with the Colombian Institute of Familiar Welfare (ICBF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). A pilot program was developed for a promotional strategy and rights guarantee, especially directed to youths in high risk in the municipality of Medio Baudó, Chocó.
In the framework of this strategy, CJCF trained 25 youth facilitators and 7 familiar facilitators to take prevention actions contributing to create coexistence practices, community integration and integral protection, looking for the strengthening of children and youths in high risk, to promote and guarantee the effective enjoyment of their rights.
They also coordinated 32 communitarian projects implemented by youths and families from Medio Baudo, strengthening the familiar and communitarian linkages, facilitating the cultural exchange, the intergenerational integration, and the communitarian appropriation and knowledge sharing.
In the same way, 445 children, youths and families from the townships Puerto Meluk and Pie de Pepé in Medio Baudé, actively participated in the School of Rights, creating spaces for empowerment, decision making and the strengthening of their life projects. So, these communities from Medio Baudó, also enjoyed a communication strategy between pairs, based in the authentic expressions of the communities, to the effective enjoyment of children and youth’s rights.
These have been some of the projects that CJCF has carried out with success, gaining important results in the communities where they act, in subjects of inclusion and participation.
Posted: March 16, 2011
III Managers Convention in Santa Marta
Management, a Challenge for Institutional Sustainability
From February 9th to 12th of 2011, the III Managers Annual Convention of Corporacion Juntos Construyendo Futuro (CJCF) took place in Santa Marta, Colombia. The managers and the directive team of the organization brainstormed about the topic: “Management, a challenge for Institutional Sustainability”.
These days were propitious for learning and networking between the sub-directions, the managers, the coordinators of CJCF from the 9 cities and Makaia, who supports CJCF with international cooperation connections.
Carlos Alberto Zapata, the President and Alba Ines Zapata, the Executive Director of CJCF made a special emphasis on the importance of continuing to strengthen the processes and the managers’ capacity to mobilize resources and achieve collective solutions.
On the one hand, some presentations were made about the management of the online tool for the projects’ follow up, the review of the 2011 action plan and its new activities, as well as management and accounting topics.
On the other hand, the next Collaborators Meeting was launched, to be organized in the city of Valledupar in June 2011, and the 2012 Convention will be in the Coffee Production Area (Eje Cafetero).
The participants got to know more about the Santa Marta’s experience through the visit of the Educational Institution Cristo Rey, where they actively participated in the different dance and soccer activities with the children, as well as the Income Generation workshops with their parents.
The participants ended the event with the satisfaction of accomplishment, reloaded batteries, and even more motivated to achieve a transforming happiness in Colombia.