We are a Christian development and relief nonprofit breaking the cycle of poverty by strengthening individuals, families, and communities through a broad range of programs based on the principles of faith, empowerment and sustainability.
What we do
The countries of the Latin American Region are amongst the most inequitable in the world. Inequality generates social tensionâ€¦ It is a monster of many heads that threatens economic growth and stability. People in the region need urgently to be equipped and empowered to participate in the opportunities that projected economic growth will generate. If not the inequality gap will increase and stability jeopardized.
The region is characterized by fragmented and segmented societies, in which the links between different social groups are badly eroded. The levels of corruption and weakness of the people to exercise effective participation, continue having social implications, allowing injustice to reign. Violence seems to have taken a grip of many societies throughout the region. Violence is not limited to armed conflicts, but has extended to family dynamics and social relations.
About 35 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean between 0-14 years of age, suffer from abuse. Many of the key threats to children from violence, abuse and exploitation are at their height during adolescence.
Focus country: Colombia
Most people today, when thinking about Colombia, think of a country characterized by economic growth, development, consumerism and sophistication. And this is right. Colombia is a country with a dynamic culture and an increasing level of progress. It is one of the oldest democracies in Latin America, has abundance of natural resources, a diversified economy, solid functioning institutions, modern cities and thriving scientific and academic centers. But this distinct reality is just one side of the coin. There is another Colombia that coexists in the same territory as an embodiment of extreme contradiction and contrast. This Colombia can only be reached by canoe, mule, or by foot. It's a Colombia where people have trouble getting to a doctor, obtaining clean water and providing an education for their children. This Colombia is also closer than one might think, in the hundreds of informal settlements on the outskirts of every single big city.
For the past fifty years, Colombia's society has been enveloped by one of the planet's most difficult and sadly, often forgotten conflicts. Colombians are confronted with the â€œterrorist threatâ€ of illegal armed groups represented by the communist guerrillas (FARC and ELN), self-defense groups and powerful gangs of criminals, who have struggled and killed among themselves, as well as fought against the Colombian armed forces and police in a dirty war intensified by the lucrative business of drug-trafficking, kidnappings and extortion. More than 4 million Colombians have been forced to leave their homes and land in order to save their life, increasing by thousands the number of people living in urban slums, subject to a life of poverty and lack of opportunity. This, is the Colombia that sits on the margins of society and suffers the repercussions of the armed conflict and many other forms of violence.
With over 40million inhabitants, the country is third in the ranks of inequality in the region and among the five most inequitable countries of the world. Children and youth, representing 57 percent of the poor and 42 percent of Colombia's total population, are particularly vulnerable to inequality, poverty, and conflict. Their situation is exacerbated by their exposure to landmines, internal displacement, and their susceptibility to becoming targets for sexual exploitation and recruitment by illegal groups.
Peace negotiations are currently taking place between the FARC guerrilla and the national government, in an effort to put an end to the internal strife. However, these are generating great polarization among the population who longs for peace, yet carries the effects of years of hostile confrontation.