Latest update

Children living in poverty in Colombia face difficulty accessing clean water, education and sufficient food—particularly amid the global food crisis. 15.5 million Colombians are experiencing food insecurity.

With your generous support, our local church partners are responding to the global food crisis through initiatives like agricultural training. Families are learning how to grow crops and raise farm animals so they can put food on the table and earn an income.

Watch the latest video update from Colombia below to learn more.

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Country update

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, churches, children and families in Colombia we serve.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for God's provision over families affected by rising food prices.
  • Pray that Colombian children will have access to safe shelter, medical care and a good education.
  • Pray that God will protect people during the rainy season and provide for those who lost their belongings due to flooding.
  • Pray for the safety of Compassion assisted children and program staff, especially in the city of Buenaventura where there is much violence.
  • Pray that God would bring peace and bring economic stability to Colombia.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for government officials as they work to serve the Colombian people.
Clean water in Colombia

Clean water in Colombia

Ester is 9 years old and lives in a small town on Colombia’s Pacific coast. Many children in her community suffer from a lack of water. Buying water is not possible for many families who don’t have formal jobs. Before this project, Ester suffered from stomach aches and illnesses. But with the Compassion centre’s support, Ester and her family received a big water tank, a water filter and a table to place it on at home.   Read more open_in_new

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Colombia

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the Compassion centre each weekday when they are not in school.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend the centre for six hours on Saturdays.

Compassion Program Activities in Colombia

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Compassion assisted children in Colombia typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Colombia.

Devotional time - Children are taught to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories. Children usually receive their own Bible within a year of joining the Child Sponsorship Program.

Break and snack time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. They are often provided a snack of biscuits and juice.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - Children generally receive a snack and lunch at the centre twice a week. Lunch usually consists of rice and beans. If the children do not receive food at school, the local church aims to provide lunch each day.

Health lessons - Children learn practical health and hygiene lessons.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are also encouraged to join in activities such as sports, yearly camps, festivals and spiritual retreats. Students can elect vocational training skills, such as computer maintenance, beauty skills, tailoring, baking and shoe making. Parents and caregivers are invited to workshops on parenting skills.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Colombia


of people live in extreme poverty


of people do not have access to safe drinking water


children under the age of 5 die per 1,000 births

Colombia’s diverse landscape has everything from snow-capped volcanoes and tropical beaches to dense rainforests and sprawling savannas. Music, dance and soccer are all important parts of Colombian culture.

More than five decades of conflict between the government and drug-trafficking militia has seen over five million people displaced by violence. This internal tension has exacerbated poverty by making it harder for vulnerable Colombian children and their families to access safe shelter, medical care and education.

FARC, the most notorious and powerful insurgent group, signed a historic peace treaty in 2016 with the government, but splinter groups have rejected the peace deal and trafficking cartels and gangs still control large swaths of the nation. Violence is rising once again. Colombia remains one of the world’s top cocaine producers—and Australia is a significant export market. And the poorest sections of society, including Colombia’s indigenous people, continue to struggle.

Across the country, local churches continue to support and encourage children and their families, reaching out to those in need. With support from Compassion and generous sponsors, these local churches work to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

01 Sep, 2017

Nick Vujicic: Hugs Without Limbs in Colombia

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

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

24 Jan, 2018

Why Doesn't Compassion Work in Conflict Zones?

Nearly one in every nine children live in a conflict zone. So why does Compassion only choose to work in stable communities?.. Read more