With a new grant from Boeing, PADF will teach hundreds of teachers and reach thousands of students across Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Panama.
After the April mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia, a relief campaign came from an unlikely source: a third grade classroom.
R.J. Delgado-Borrero, a third grader at Morris Elementary school in Lenox, Mass., has close family ties to Mocoa, where a landslide killed and injured hundreds. Fortunately, his family members were not affected by the incident, but they were still shaken by the tragedy.
"I got sad when my mom told me about it," said R.J.
He and his mother wanted to do something for those affected by the disaster, so they decided to rally the school community to support Mocoa in Colombia's Putumayo department.
"We planned to raise money for Colombia but we needed the school's help," said R.J.
The Colombian family passed around handwritten flyers asking for donations for Mocoa. Inspired by their effort, the school administration organized a "Coins for Colombia" fundraising drive, donating the proceeds to PADF's Mocoa landslide relief effort.
For a week, teachers shared with their students about the importance of helping people in need. Little by little, students and families donated change and small bills for the cause. By the end of the weeklong campaign, they had collected $645 in donations.
"R.J. shared his concern for his fellow Colombians with such compassion and enthusiasm," said Carolyn Boyce, the principal of Morris Elementary. "He checked in with me every day to see what the status of the drive was."
Boyce added that "he was very concerned that we get 'the right kind of money' to Colombia, because our currency is different than theirs."
R.J. was glad to make a positive difference. "So everyone would know about the drive, I held up the sign in morning car line. Then we raised $645! It made me feel happy that the whole school was trying to help."
After three rivers overflowed in April, landslides killed, injured, and displaced hundreds. PADF responded to the Mocoa landslide, immediately coordinating emergency supplies and health services.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for our school to come together and raise funds for an important cause," said Boyce. "I am very proud of R.J. and the Morris Elementary School community for making a small difference in the lives of people from another country."
Appeal for Flood Victims in Mocoa, Colombia
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is seeking cash donations to aid flood victims in Mocoa, Colombia, which was devastated by severe floods and mudslides.
There is an urgent need for locally purchased food assistance, water purification supplies, materials for emergency shelters, kitchen and hygiene kits, hand tools to begin clean-up activities, electrical generators and other items.
Since early 2017, severe weather events have impacted a total of 11 departments in Colombia, according to the National Disaster and Risk Management Unit. On April 1, heavy rains caused three rivers (Mocoa, Sancoyaco and Mulato) to overflow, triggering a massive mudslide in Mocoa, the capital city of Putumayo. This tragedy has affected 17 neighborhoods of Mocoa.
More than 260 people lost their lives and hundreds of people are injured or missing. More than 1,000 people are living in temporary shelters. The water distribution system and hospital network have collapsed and there is a high risk of public health emergencies. Overall damages are being calculated by the National Disaster and Risk Management Unit.
PADF is accepting donations to support Mocoa Colombia Flood Relief at: www.padf.org/mocoa. Corporations can also wire transfer funds to PADF based on the instructions shown below.
PADF has a longstanding partnership with the Colombian government to help vulnerable populations and aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Our Colombia staff works with various government agencies, municipalities, community groups and local NGOs throughout the country.
PADF is an affiliate of the Organization of American States with 55 years of experience delivering humanitarian supplies to disaster victims, operating through local communities. We are coordinating our relief efforts with Colombia’s Department of Social Prosperity (DPS) and other entities to assist those affected, as we have done for drought and flood victims in other departments, such as La Guajira.
We work to assist victims who urgently need your help. All projects are supervised by technical experts from the PADF (FUPAD) office in Colombia. Due diligence has been performed to ensure that funds are properly managed and quickly reach those most impacted by the floods and mudslides, in response to the highest priority needs.
PADF specializes in partnering with corporations, diaspora groups and individuals to ensure that assistance is delivered within days of the donation in an accountable and transparent manner. If desired, donations can be branded with your company or group logo and publicized in local and national media. Corporate or group donations receive impact reports and photos and are recognized on PADF’s website and in our Annual Report.
As a U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations to PADF are fully tax deductible in the United States. PADF has one of the lowest operating costs in the international nonprofit sector.
We partner with the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA) and its member AmChams in the region to carry out these programs.
For further assistance, you can contact Liza Mantilla, Director for Disaster Management at PADF headquarters in Washington, D.C. at: email@example.com or (202) 458-3731; or Catalina Martinez, Manager of International Cooperation at the PADF (FUPAD) office in Bogota at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 651-3838.
Families already displaced by Colombia's civil conflict are now displaced by severe floods.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 24,000 people have been affected in Nariño Department after intense rains. At least eight rivers are said to have flooded in the region.
PADF Colombia has been coordinating with local government officials and UN agencies to provide comprehensive care for families affected by flooding, particularly in Tumaco, where PADF has been working to support indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups for several years.
On January 26 and 27, PADF hosted two “Days of Care” with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
During the event, PADF delivered the following:
- Food kits to 140 families
- Psychosocial support sessions for more than 95 people
- Medical treatment at the Hospital Divino Niño de Tumaco for 72 people
- Oral hygiene care for more than 30 people
For more information about PADF's work in Colombia, visit padf.org/colombia.
Liseth walks for more than an hour from her home in Riohacha, La Guajira Colombia to get to school. The sun is hot and when it rains, the paths become muddy, she says. Thanks to an alliance between Postobón and PADF Colombia, her commute is much shorter. Postobón delivers bicycles to vulnerable students in rural areas to reduce dropout rates and improve academic performance. Last year alone, Postobon donated more than 1,500 bikes to children in communities including Samutpiou, Media Luna and Laachon Mayapo.
El corregimiento fronterizo de Paraguachón, perteneciente a la cabecera municipal de Maicao, será uno de los beneficiados con el programa integral Niños, niñas y adolescentes con oportunidades gracias a la construcción de una casa lúdica. El espacio que será inaugurado este jueves, le permitirá a los niños, niñas y adolescentes realizar actividades deportivas, lúdicas y académicas fundamentales en el aprovechamiento del tiempo libre y que esto contribuya a la construcción de su proyecto de vida.
La inauguración de la casa lúdica en Paraguachón, corregimiento fronterizo con Venezuela contará con la presencia del presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos y la ministra de Relaciones Exteriores, María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar.
El evento tendrá el apoyo de la Administración Municipal dirigida por José Carlos Molina Becerra.
Las casas lúdicas han blindado del flagelo del mal uso del tiempo libre a más de 11 mil niños, niñas y adolescentes entre el 2012 y 2016 en 25 espacios lúdicos construidos en igual número de ciudades colombianas.
Estos espacios son una de las iniciativas que lidera la Cancillería en municipios vulnerables al reclutamiento armado infantil que llegó durante el año pasado a cinco ciudades más.
A lo largo de 2016, el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, en asoció con los gobiernos locales, la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (FUPAD), y el sector privado, para poner en marcha las casas lúdicas en Paraguachón (La Guajira), Tumaco (Nariño), Vistahermosa (Meta), Barranquilla (Atlántico), y Cartagena (Bolívar).
Con un total de 25 casas lúdicas, esta iniciativa que ha sido una prioridad para la canciller María Ángela Holguín desde el 2012, el Ministerio le apuesta a contribuir a mitigar este flagelo que trunca los sueños de la infancia en Colombia.
Jóvenes entre los 6 y 17 años, encuentran en las casas lúdicas canchas multideportes, sala de computadores, salón de música, salón de baile y comedor, donde realizan actividades culturales, deportivas, promoción de derechos, refuerzo escolar, entre otros.
El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores creó esta iniciativa en cumplimiento de compromisos internacionales. El Gobierno Nacional aceptó de forma voluntaria, la Resolución 1612 de 2005 del Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas, el cual habla sobre la prevención y la lucha contra el reclutamiento armado infantil.
22 community centers established since 2011
$1.7 million agreement to build six new centers and support existing ones
Washington, D.C (November 5, 2015) – With an investment of USD $1.7 million from the Government of Colombia, the Organization of American States through the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) signed an agreement to develop six new community centers for at-risk youth and provide ongoing support for an existing network of centers in isolated rural areas and underserved urban neighborhoods.
Through the OAS, PADF has worked with Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2011 to address the growing number of youth who are being targeted by criminal networks. By constructing community centers or “Casas Ludicas,” the goal is to combat and mitigate young people from being recruited by armed groups and gangs. These centers provide outreach including psychosocial, remedial education, organized youth and sports activities, as well as access to computers, books, and family counseling.
Together, PADF Colombia and the Colombian government have built 22 youth centers throughout the country, four sport and recreational facilities, two community cafeterias, one bicycle racetrack, and a rugby field, serving more than 75,000 families. In partnership with the OAS, PADF has received nearly $17 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to carry out this initiative.
“We are pleased to provide a space where Colombian children can safely pursue education, sports and other healthy activities,” says Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States. “These youth centers demonstrate the Colombian government’s commitment to empowering young people and fostering a new generation of community leaders.”
This latest grant will provide funding for six youth centers, most of them located in border areas near Venezuela and Ecuador, in the communities of Paraguachón-Maicao, Guajira Department; Cartagena, Bolívar Department; Tibú, Santander Department; Ocaña, Santander Department; Tumaco, Nariño Department; and Cumaribo, Vichada Department. Youth centers are located in strategic areas throughout the country with high incidences of criminal activity. They demonstrate Colombian government presence and a commitment to serving the needs of the country’s diverse population, especially at-risk youth.
“These centers serve as focal points for community groups to address underlying social issues impacting youth and driving many of them into a life of crime,” says PADF Colombia Country Director Soraya Osorio. “PADF is pleased to continue its work to support vulnerable youth in Colombia and to aid in the development of underserved areas in the country.”
PADF implements the grant by constructing the youth centers and facilitating community engagement. For each center, PADF Colombia works with local communities and municipal officials to develop a management and sustainability plan.
The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. In 2014, PADF reached more than 15 million people by investing over $92 million in development resources in 27 Latin American and Caribbean countries. www.padf.org
About the OAS
Established in 1948, the Organization of American States brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere. In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 69 states, as well as to the European Union (EU). The OAS uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes, based on its main pillars: democracy, human rights, security, and development. www.oas.org
Organization of American States
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Pan American Development Foundation