The emerging reality of human mobility in Colombia, due to the forced displacement of Venezuelan migrants, has encouraged the concentration of this population in central areas of Bogotá, including the Santa Fe district, which faces a difficult socio-economic situation exacerbated not only by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because it is one of the districts with the highest percentage of Venezuelan migrant population. The complex social, economic and political situation that Venezuela has been facing for several years has caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, which has led to more than three million people, to flee the Country making it the largest human displacement in the region’s recent history. According to the analysis process carried out by the Marist Brothers of Colombia, in collaboration with other stakeholders, high rates of malnutrition and disease and low levels of schooling have been discovered. Forced migrant households from
Venezuela are unable to provide access to the local educational system for their children. For short-term migrants (12 months) the percentage of children out of school is close to 39%, compared to 14% among the local population. Attendance seems to improve in the medium term, yet migrants in this sector report a 28% rate of non-enrolled children. The proportion of NEETs between 15 and 24 years old is 42%. Santa Fe is the third largest area in terms of migrant population in the city of Bogotá. According to the Economic, Social, Environmental and Public Works Development Plan for the locality of Santa Fe 2021-2024, the locality faces a difficult socio-economic situation, which has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high percentage of families in the context of mobility (migrants, refugees, internally displaced people), since it is
among the localities with the highest percentage of migrant population. Social problems, such as high consumption of alcohol and psychoactive substances, high numbers of prostituted and homeless women, school dropouts, child and youth labour are particularly prevalent: children, adolescents, women and the elderly are the most vulnerable population in the locality. According to the Local Development Plan 2021-2024, there is a high incidence of violence, discrimination, and barriers in access to goods, services and employment opportunities for women, leading to an increase in the prostituted population. On the basis of the testimonies and surveys conducted with a group of women in the context of violence (prostitutes, victims of violence, displaced women, migrants, refugees), focused on one of the most vulnerable sectors of the Santa Fe locality (tolerance zone), and taking into account the data provided by the professionals of the El Refugio house of the EUDES Foundation and the Community of the Sisters of the Presentation, it can be stated that: 7 out of 10 women in the sector are Venezuelan migrants, on average they have 2 or 3 minors entrusted to them between the ages of 4 and 13, they do not have safe and welcoming spaces for their children’s leisure time, their children have difficulty adapting to school due to cultural differences and barriers that make integration difficult and which then lead to school dropout.
Aim of the project:
The project aims at offering a safe and child friendly play environment to the children from 5 to 13 years belonging to the forced migrant families of Venezuela and to the internally migrants who live in the poor settlements of Santa Fe, Bogotà. All the Project activities have the purpose of mitigating child rights violation such as child begging, informal child work in the street, their recruitment by criminal gangs, child and youth sexual exploitation. Venezuelan migrant families, and internally displaced people, lack sufficient economic means for their children need and government assistance is limited. For this reason, the project seeks to offer a healthy, safe, and easily accessible space in Santa Fe, covering the basic needs for the growth and development of the beneficiaries. The project will start with 50 children beneficiaries (25 girls and 25 boys) to increase the number in the coming years. Beneficiaries are Venezuelan migrants and internally displaced children. They will attend the Program from Monday to Friday: 25 of them during the morning and the remaining 25 during the evening, guaranteeing them the right to play and grow and learn in a safe and friendly environment.
THE PROJECT IN BRIEF:
The project aims at offering a safe and child friendly play environment to the children from 5 to 13 years belonging to the forced migrant families of Venezuela and to the internally migrants who live in the poor settlements of Santa Fe, Bogotà
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS:
- 25 male direct beneficiaries
- 25 female direct beneficiaries
- 20 male indirect beneficiaries
- 50 female indirect beneficiaries
SDG Goals: 2, 3, 4, 5, 10
Laudato Si’ Goals: 2, 5