Colombia Winter Update

Colombia, Tiempo De Paz

In Medellin, Colombia, the Tiempo de Paz Foundation supports about 100 at-risk children in two community drop-in centres with before & after school care. The children attend four hours each day, as public schools run for only half of the day. They receive nutritional and academic support, enjoy sports and music together, receive counselling, and pray as a community. With two centres located in two of the city’s toughest neighbourhoods, it’s a safe place for at-risk children – and there are plans to open a 3rd centre.
Published January 10, 2022, 2 min read.

Colombia has experienced long, and repeated lockdowns during the pandemic, but we are happy to report that the children are now able to attend the Tiempo de Paz before & after school centres in person in both locations in Medellin. A lot of creativity went into staying in touch with the kids while life was virtual! Strategies ranged from online music classes (accomplished by mailing the children a recorder), providing laptops to children who needed support accessing school and services online, emergency food basket delivery to the most vulnerable children and their families, and bringing the Centre’s part-time child psychologist up to full time to help address trauma, loneliness and mental health challenges.

In the Spring of 2021, Hope Story donors responded generously to our Mother’s Day emergency COVID-19 food relief appeal for vulnerable kids & their families in Colombia. With nearly 500 children and parents desperately turning to Tiempo de Paz for emergency food relief this past year, donor support was truly a Godsend!

Schools have re-opened and, as for many of us in Canada, there is hope of a return to “normal” in the near future, though job losses have left at-risk families even more vulnerable, and recovery will not be instant even after case numbers abate.

Isabella, 11 years old, has wonderful plans! She wants to study medicine when she grows up – and already has a special interest in forensics. She also plans to buy her mother a house one day. (We shared her story at the 2021 Virtual Gala on October 28.)

Isabella and her two sisters have been sharing a cell phone for remote schooling throughout the pandemic lockdowns. It’s hard enough to do your regular homework from a shared mobile, but nearly impossible to accomplish three girls’ schoolwork.

Isabella told us how Tiempo de Paz has been very helpful in supporting the family through pandemic challenges – including the provision of food delivery, and a Bible. Her mother reads the girls a Psalm out of their new Bible each night.

As Isabella was being interviewed, she had no idea of the turn her story was going to take that day – there would be a big surprise. At the end of the video interview, Isabela and her sisters were presented with a laptop for them to share! Now, with both a laptop and a cellphone between them, it will be significantly easier to work on their homework – especially as school has gone back to in-person. And all three can even join other Tiempo de Paz students online for academic help and support so they can all three pursue their dreams.

Please pray for...

Continued and stable support for the great work at Tiempo de Paz, allowing for regular care for vulnerable children and even for special treats at Christmas.

Pray for families who were vulnerable already, and have been hit even harder by pandemic job losses.

Pray for God’s confirmation on the hope of opening a third centre in Medellin, and for everything that would be needed to make this possible.