Colombia

Enabling children to rebuild their resilience and fulfil their potential.

What is happening in Colombia?

Colombia has seen six decades of internal armed conflict - violence which has destroyed the social fabric of many communities. Some 8.8 million people have been directly touched by the conflict - and its social effects have reached all parts of the country.

Colombia has the largest population of internally displaced people in the world - some 7.7 million people are currently forced from their homes. Increasing numbers of refugees from neighbouring Venezuela are also entering the country - putting further strain on social resources.

Children and youth in Colombia continue to face a number of significant threats to their safety. The risk of recruitment into armed groups persists - children are used as look-outs and as armed combatants in fighting.

Sexual violence is another critical danger to youth in Colombia. Armed groups use the threat of sexual violence to maintain control over areas they occupy. The majority of victims are female - including an increasing number of girls between the ages of ten and 14.

Edwin learned to overcome his fears in our project 'Con Paz Aprendemos Mas'. Now he is a popular local radio host

What we do

War Child’s programme in Colombia is designed to improve children’s wellbeing and promote their resilience. Our activities combine psychosocial support, education and child protection activities for enhanced effect.

We work in partnership with children and the important adults in their lives to repair protection networks and prevent the recruitment of children into armed groups. We actively involve families, teachers and community groups in our interventions to strengthen the environment around children.

Children are at the heart of all our interventions - they take the lead to identify the main risks to their safety and provide feedback on the actions needed to address those risks.