COLOMBIA

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Situation

The situation has deteriorated even more in the country in 2019 with the failure of the peace agreements, local elections and the announcement of the return to arms of some former members of armed opposition groups (Front Line Defenders).
According to the UN, 107 human rights defenders were assassinated in 2019, while the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz) speaks of 250 leaders. In addition, the report of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Observatory for Situations of Internal Displacement estimates that 5.5 million people have been displaced as a result of conflict and violence.

In Magangué (Bolivar region), the organisation Atucsara is continuing its work with populations displaced by the armed conflict on 3 axes: food security, community development and school for peace. Its aim: to enable these communities to recreate an organised social network, to strengthen their community management and their capacity to generate spaces for peace and conflict resolution processes. The major unforeseen event of the year was the insecurity weighing on the municipality. This was a difficult situation both for the team and for community members who were afraid to move around as a result of the clashes and killings in the city. Young people are a privileged prey for recruitment by micro-trafficking gangs in illegal activities.

For 16 years Vivere has been supporting the nutritional component of the global project that Atucsara is carrying out with the support of the partner association CATLEYA. The young people implement integration and citizen participation strategies that enable them to prevent the influence of gangs, delinquency and micro-trafficking in their community. The children who have benefited from the canteens from the beginning of the project are now young leaders and are actively working at the School for Peace. The parents of students in schools and of young people following the School for Peace curriculum have received training on themes such as: modes of education, shared responsibility, rights and duties, intra-family violence, sexuality, pregnancy and relations between adolescents.

Objectives

Nutritional assistance to particularly vulnerable children in neighbourhoods of Nueva Colombia, Yati, La Peña, Santa Fe and Barranca Yuca.

170 children at-risk have one meal a day in the canteen, and 70 children have an enhanced snack.

Local partner: Atucsara

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Achievements

In all five neighbourhoods, women’s associations are active and manage community processes, including nutritional activity.

The school canteens have provided food for 170 children between 5 and 11 years old (Nueva Colombia: 55 children, Yatí: 55 children, La Peña: 30 children, and Barranca Yuca: 30 children) to receive one meal a day. In Santa Fe, 69 children among the participants in the sessions of awareness, dance and music, were able to benefit from reinforced snacks.

The children come from families that are not able to ensure their food security. The nutritional assessment shows that 81% of the children are of adequate height for their age, 15% are at risk of stunting and 4% suffer from growth impairment or are chronically malnourished.

With regard to school level, 62% of children maintain an adequate level of schooling and 26% have improved their results.