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Colombia is home to towering Andean summits, sandy Caribbean beaches, the wildlife-rich Amazon jungle, renowned highland coffee plantations, and intriguing archaeological ruins. But despite Colombia’s wealth of outdoor explorations and vibrant culture, more than a third of the people here live in poverty. Children living in poverty are most vulnerable to violence, malnutrition, and natural disasters. That’s why our global community of Child Champions is here, working in the hard places to bring help and hope to children.



Children in poverty


Access to Education

Latin America had one of the longest school closures in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic; in Colombia, 10 million children were affected. These closures were disastrous for learning and deprived kids of future opportunities. Today, education in Colombia continues to be held back by problems such as poor school infrastructure, high dropout rates due in part to gang recruitment, and high teacher absenteeism, particularly in rural areas.

How Child Champions Are Helping Children in Poverty in Colombia

In Colombia, we partner with Child Champions who help kids learn and grow. The Hope Center offers an academic reinforcement program five days a week where kids receive educational support from qualified teachers. These dedicated Child Champions encourage kids to stay in school and give them the support they need to catch up and be successful. Parents are thrilled to see children who once struggled in school now taking their place on the honor roll in their classes.


Read an inspirational story from Latin America: Piñatas Provide a Path Forward


Violence Against Children

Colombia’s internal political violence between 1985 and 2023 affected nearly 2 million children and teens through displacement, confinement, recruitment by paramilitary and guerilla groups and gangs, abuse, and sexual violence. And while the family is supposed to be a protective environment for kids, home is where children and teens suffer the highest levels of domestic abuse.

How Child Champions Are Helping Children in Poverty in Colombia

Child Champions encourage kids to stay in school and out of gangs. In addition to educational support, Child Champions also provide emotional, social, and spiritual support, instilling good values and healthy habits physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As parents see positive changes in their children, the whole family is strengthened. The Hope Center also reaches out to families with special events. Having a Child Champion in a child’s life helps identify negative issues that come up and provides positive solutions for the family. Stronger families and the fun and engaging events at their Hope Center create a safe environment for kids and make them less likely to turn to gangs for a sense of belonging.


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Read an inspirational story from Latin America: A Change for the Better


Food Insecurity

Approximately 15.5 million Colombians live in food insecurity; likewise, overweight and obesity in children in Colombia is on the rise, with 24% of kids ages 5 to 12 being overweight. While food insecurity is caused by lack of access to food, obesity can be caused by lack of access to nutritious food. Both are very real problems for kids living in poverty here.

How Child Champions Are Helping Children in Poverty in Colombia

When kids come to the Hope Center, they receive nutritious food, which helps them stay healthy and fights child hunger. They are also taught healthy eating habits and proper hygiene. Kids there enjoy child development opportunities, too, that improve their physical coordination and promote exercise. The Hope Center also partners with other organizations to provide children with basic medical care.

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Read an inspirational story from Latin America: Josuar Speaks Up


Natural Disasters

Flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions cause about 160 deaths and destroy 2,800 houses every year in Colombia, mostly affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people. The country has one of the highest rates of disasters caused by natural and climate-induced hazards in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

How Child Champions Are Helping Children in Poverty in Colombia

When disaster strikes, OneChild’s frontline Child Champions are on the ground, ready to deliver immediate assistance. Through our Children’s Crisis Fund, Child Champions can provide immediate care in a family’s greatest hour of need — whether they’re facing a large-scale disaster or a personal emergency.



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Read an inspirational story from Latin America: When the Landslide Can’t
Sweep Away Your Smile


We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.

Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)