Monday, Jun 24, 2019
Services | Others | South America | Colombia

Improving Quality Of Life

Zona Franca Foundation educates and feeds 1,500 children daily, restoring hope, the desire to excel, and joy

4 years ago

Various public and private-sector initiatives, such as those by the Zona Franca Foundation, are helping to raise living standards in Colombia (Photo: Ministerio TIC Colombia ©CC BY 2.0)
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The Zona Franca Foundation in Barranquilla was created in 2005 to contribute to quality of life in Colombia by sponsoring a series of programs in education, recreation, nutrition and psycho-affective development for children and adolescents.


César Caro Castellar, President of Barranquilla Free Zone, says action was conducted after carrying out a survey in the surrounding neighborhoods with unmet needs to see what first and foremost they were lacking.

“It was concluded that the biggest problem was security, as it also prevented the kids’ access to school and their mobility,” explains Mr Castellar. “After that followed nutrition, since with people having very limited resources, they often were unable to give nutritious food to the children, which has very worrying consequences on the rest of their lives. Another thing we discovered was that there was despair, because they had never been given anything, but since then have welcomed the families from the areas around the perimeter of the Free Zone with the firm intention of contributing to improving their quality of life.”

The president says that currently the Foundation provides education and food to 1,500 children daily, while at weekends more 1,500 people attend the sporting events they organize. “We give courses on cheerleading for the girls, and music, especially drums, for about 400 children. We also organize competitions and recreational activities,” he says.

He adds that there is a group which is responsible for monitoring that the children are learning, by using tests, and the Foundation provides computers at all levels so that everyone has access to the internet.

“With the youngest ones, we monitor them to make sure that nutritional programs are working.,” says Mr Castellar. “With the Universidad del Norte we employed a program called Pisotón, which measures the psycho-emotional relationships of a family in the community and makes recommendations, through recreational games, of a family’s relationship with the community.”



These recommendations help to overcome the relevant traumas that the children may have. Parents become aware of how things are, and they start to feel proud of their children, and every day more responsible for their roles as trainers of humans, according to the Foundation’s president.

He emphasizes that with this, a sense of hope is recovered, along with the desire to excel, joy, the wise use of resources, and the feeling that the future is possible, and that it is worth working for it. 




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