Compassion started working in Colombia in 1974. Today, there are over 82,000 children registered in our programs through 250 church partners.
mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births
lack access to improved sanitation
children under the age of five die per 1000 births
For over five decades, Colombia was wracked by a civil war fought on multiple fronts between government forces, rebel paramilitary groups and drug-trafficking cartels. The vicious, ongoing fighting left millions of people killed, injured, disappeared or displaced—many of them children.
While a shaky peace has held over the past two years, Colombia is grappling with the fallout of decades of violence and is in great need of prayer.
The Colombian government estimates that 3.6 million people have been displaced since 2000; 75 per cent are women and children, many of whom now live in shanty towns around major cities and have little access to medical care, education, safe water and basic health services.
Trafficking cartels and gangs still control large swaths of the nation, although FARC (the most powerful insurgent group) has largely demobilised and others have been weakened. Colombia remains one of the world’s top cocaine producers—and Australia is a significant export market.
One-third of all Colombian children are anaemic, and approximately 13 per cent of children under five years old suffer growth stunting caused by chronic malnutrition. Almost one in 10 children between the ages of five and 14 are involved in child labour, which can interfere with their ability to attend school and expose them to dangerous situations.
The country has recently been through Congressional elections, and the presidential election will take place on 27 May 2018. President Juan Manuel Santos can’t be re-elected, having served two consecutive terms. Instead, conservative Ivan Duque of the Democratic Center party will face off against Gustavo Petro of the Colombia Humana party.
Greetings in Jesus’ name! My name is Jose Carrasco. I am the South America Area Director and I’ve been privileged to serve as the Interim Country Director of Colombia since 2014. I was born in Peru. I am married to Laura and we have two wonderful children, Jose Alonso and Natalia. I am proud to inform you that Compassion has been serving Colombia for 43 years.open_in_new Read full letter
When he was just 14, Mateo Lopera Agudelo began using drugs. “Every day, I advised my children about the danger of drugs. I could not understand why my son made the decision to use drugs. What did I do wrong?” asks his mother, Gladys. In the community of Currulao, Colombia where Mateo lives, drug use is a big issue.open_in_new Read more
Nick Vujicic and José are young men with lives seemingly worlds apart. Yet both have had to overcome huge challenges: Nick was born without limbs, and José was born into extreme poverty. Watch what happens when the two meet... Read more
From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... Read more