A NETWORK OF TOY LIBRARIES TO FIGHT VIOLENCE AND POVERTY
The conflict in Colombia will have caused 5.7 million people to be displaced. Most of them are peasants, the villagers have crammed into the cities (Bogotá has grown from 5 to 10 million inhabitants) where violence is still affecting children on a daily basis. 80% of these families are housed in extremely precarious conditions, in shanty towns and so-called "invasion" districts... Drugs and crime reign there and children are the first victims... Negotiations with the FARC guerrillas have been interrupted, perpetuating tensions in this country.
Mission Enfance fights against the violence inflicted upon children, in Bogota, but also in other regions of Colombia, through the setting up of toy libraries. In these animation centres, children learn, through games, the rules of life in society and the respect they owe to themselves and to others. In twenty-two years, the association has created a real network with seven centres, each time focusing on the problems encountered by the children : Violence in La Uvita (Boyaca). Racial denigration in Condoto in the Choco, among Afro-descendants, the former slaves of the conquistadores. Forgetting and poverty for the Amazon Indians in Leticia, Puerto Narino and Zaragosa.
Help children in shantytowns or isolated on the borders of Colombia, to live their childhood, to get out of violence, and to create a generation of responsible adults.
This project is conducted under the direction and control of our local coordinator, Françoise Bardon. Each child is followed by a group of counsellors who help them to escape the violence experienced in their families on a daily basis. In Bogota in particular, football, basketball and ping pong championships are organised to attract 13 year olds who hang out in the streets. The children also benefit from a school support programme and a baby toy library for children under 4 years old and their parents.
Our partners :
The municipalities and departments of Colombia participate in the action, by providing premises or toys, or by taking on staff outside the Mission Enfance team.
Mission Enfance is the carrier and project manager of the project, through its local association Mission Paraiso.
Taking action in Colombia