National Action Project 2022 - 2024
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
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In October 2022 the Knights of St Columba are supporting Let the Children Live!
A GoFundMe has been set up to support our appeal. Our current target of £20,000 is to fund raise over the next two years through various fundraising events.
If you would like to sponsor a child for any of the amounts below, just go to the GoFundMe page to donate.
Please help us to exceed this target
- £50 would provide lunch and a healthy snack for one child at Casa Walsingham for one month.
- £25 would pay for one child’s bus fares to and from Casa Walsingham for one month.
- £10 would buy a school pack for one child of primary age
The number of children who can be helped at Funvini’s two centres is limited by lack of space.
Plans have been drawn to build a library, multi-purpose classroom, extra dormitory, bathroom, two offices, toilets, lift, enlarge Chapel and dining-room. Prices in Colombia are increasing fast. Building and equipping these additional facilities are likely to cost inaccessible of £100,000.
Income fell by 30% in the first part of 2022.
We urgently need extra help to enable us to start work on this project as soon as possible.
HELP BUILD MORE SPACE FOR MORE CHILDREN!
Life in its fullness
for children in Colombia
Since 1994 Let the Children Live! has served thousands of children in the streets and shanty-towns of the city of Medellín, Colombia. As a result of the Covid and cost-of-living crises their need for help to survive and flourish is greater than ever. Our mission is to respond to that need.
DRUGS AND VIOLENCE
For many years, Colombia was notorious for violence related to the drugs-trade. Although the violence has decreased, the shanty-towns of the city of Medellín still hold many dangers for the children who live in them. Many grow up in poor neighbourhoods high up on the mountains overlooking the city. These barrios are controlled by criminal gangs that fight for territory with other bandas and force families to pay la vacuna – a “protection tax”. If the family has no stable source of income, the children may have to go out to work in the street – and then they are only a step away from getting caught up in drugs, crime and prostitution. This is the hard reality of life for many of the children helped by Let The Children Live!
POVERTY AND HUNGER
Many boys and girls in Medellín live in poverty, and in recent years their numbers have been swollen by an influx of Venezuelan children who have been forced by hunger to seek refuge in Colombia. They need food, shelter, medical care, catechesis, clothing, education, toys and recreation. It is our mission at Let The Children Live! to try to provide these for as many children as we can.
The work supported by Let The Children Live! in Medellín is based at Casa Walsingham, a day-centre for boy and girls at high social risk. A dedicated team of teachers, psychologists and social-workers work with the children there, who are divided into Groups according to their particular needs. Many of the children are undernourished, and rely on the meals provided at the centre. Some have special educational needs and are in danger of dropping out from school, so they are given the extra support they need to prevent this. Others have health problems, and are helped to obtain treatment. The Catholic children are prepared for their Baptism or First Communion
The St John Bosco Group
The staff of Funvini, the Colombian offshoot of Let the Children Live!, reach out from Casa Walsingham to try to prevent children who live or work in the streets from becoming addicted to street-life. The aim is to motivate and enable these boys and girls to leave the streets and to start going to school. Casa Walsingham provides them with a haven whilst their identity documents are put in order, and school places are sought for them. Children without school places can study, eat and play in safety there whilst their parents look for work.
The St Maria Goretti Group
As its name proclaims, Let The Children Live! is a very pro-life organization. In the poorest areas of Medellín many teenage – and even pre-teenage – girls become pregnant, and may be pressured into having an abortion: but those who contact Casa Walsingham receive the support they need to keep their babies, both before and after the birth. The girls can bring their babies with them when they attend Funvini’s Holy House School. With a High School Diploma they will have the chance to get further qualifications, and to build a decent future for themselves and their children.
The Seeing-Heart Choir
Pope Benedict XVI said, “The programme of the Christian is a heart that sees where love is needed and responds accordingly.” Cor Videns was set up to give Funvini’s children a voice with which to touch the hearts of the public, and to move them to respond to the plight of the children whose voices are never heard. The choir enables boys from poor families to develop their talents; and some of them become professional musicians.
Charity registered with the Charity Commission Registered Charity No 1159113.
We fund the work of Fundación ¡Vivan Los Niños! (Funvini), in Medellín, Colombia.