DFK to support Colombian NGO in 2020

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up to help ease a humanitarian crisis in South America will be supported by DFK International during 2020.

  • DFK news
  • 27 November 2019

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up to help ease a humanitarian crisis in South America will be supported by DFK International during 2020.

Comparte por una vida was established in Colombia in 2018 to alleviate malnutrition among children migrating from the bordering country of Venezuela.

Food insecurity, hopelessness and fear have been identified as being among the main causes of the migration.

The number of migrants increased by over 400 per cent during 2018.  According to official statistics, the figure rose from 184,087 in 2017 to 769,762 in 2018, with about 16 per cent being under the age of 18.  In 2019, the number has rocketed to 1.5 million.

Children are the most vulnerable population as they are forced to move, exposing them to risks such as begging, labour or sexual exploitation, diseases or malnourishment.

The NGO hopes to contribute to the stabilisation of the migrant and returning population by easing malnourishment and malnutrition among children identified as being at risk.

It is the second year that DFK International has supported and promoted a charitable organisation located in the region where its annual International Conference is being held.

The initiative is run through DFK’s International Women in Leadership Executive Committee, and member firms are encouraged to hold events to raise money for the chosen charity on International Women’s Day.

Comparte por una vida has been chosen as DFK will be holding its International, and North America and Latin America, Conference in Panama next year.

Money raised by DFK will support the charity’s nutritional recovery programme, called ‘Stay In School’ which promotes protective and safe environments where children affected by the Venezuelan exodus can access free education while recovering from malnutrition.

Lala Lovera, who leads the NGO, explained: “Our initiative takes place in Norte de Santander which is on the Venezuelan border with Colombia, and the target communities are the pendular population along the border.

“They risk their lives every day in the irregular frontier passages, called ‘Trochas’, where they are constantly harassed by armed groups who control illegal markets around the border. They experience greater challenges as they are not considered migrants, although they are affected by the migratory flows.
“We have been working with this population for almost three years. On a daily basis, mothers carry their children from Venezuela to Colombia so they can attend classes and participate in the public or charitable feeding programs. Then elder siblings and mothers spend the whole day waiting for the children and looking for jobs, but most of the time they only come back home with empty hands.

“The importance of our project in the communities lies in their need to find a way to overcome this humanitarian crisis. We have seen how food can promote healthier life quality and conditions. But we are going further and by working together, these communities will have the chance to rebuild the social fabric lost by the political and economic issues between Colombia and Venezuela - no matter their flag or nationality, they all are looking for better opportunities.

“All the funds raised by DFK will support our ‘Stay In School’ programme which currently helps 500 children, but we need to grow in our intervention and as an NGO, in order to be stronger in our actions and fulfil the long-term need of our organisation.

“We rely 99 per cent on international support and for us, the support of DFK International means a guarantee of our work and intervention, letting us as a local NGO grow at the same speed as the crisis in Colombia.”

Anne Brady, chair of the DFK International Women in Leadership Executive Committee, said: “The DFK I-WIL committee are delighted to be able to support Comparte por una vida in the tremendous work they are doing for women and children in Venezuela.

“We hope that DFK member firms across the world will get behind this great initiative by organising fundraising events around International Women’s Day which will take place on Sunday, March 8 next year.

“Together we can make a contribution which will help the charity’s ‘Stay In School’ programme to develop, and help make a real difference to the lives of so many.”

Author

DFK International