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Children playing at Luz y Vida home in Bogota during lockdown

Life in Lockdown at Luz y Vida

Covid-19 has brought special challenges for staff and children at the Luz y Vida homes in Bogotá, Colombia.

All the children – from babies to adolescents – resident at the bright, cheerful home in downtown Bogotá suffer from serious chronic mental or physical conditions.  Founder and director Valeriana Martin says Luz y Vida has had to double its efforts to provide continuous, top quality care for these especially vulnerable children without neglecting the health of their employees.

In her latest letter to Children of Colombia, Valeriana writes:

“We have had to isolate our very special children from contact with the outside world.  We have had to reduce non-essential therapeutic, educational and recreational activities without neglecting their well-being, care and quality of life.”

Biosecurity and hygiene protocols have been increased and contact with the children is restricted to the key staff who help them with essential daily activities such as washing, eating and healthcare.

Personal care and individual attention for each disabled child at Luz y Vida children's home in Bogota

Curiously, this (regime) has improved health care processes resulting in lower rates of complications and hospital admissions among Luz y Vida residents has dropped by 60% – despite a 10% increase in the number of children admitted to the home since the lockdown began.

In June 2020 the number of seriously disabled children in Luz y Vida’s care rose to and incredible 230.  Every one requires special medical and personal care from the dedicated staff.   But Valeriana believes caring goes beyond the practical and physical.  She believes in giving each child particular love and attention and treating each as an individual and a valued member of the community.

“Always remember the road to your Luz y Vida home where a group of children invite you with open arms and a tender smile” ends Valeriana.







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Natutama and Fenix workers source and distribute medical supplies to families in the Colombian Amazon hit by Covid-19

Battling Covid-19 in the Colombian Amazon

Thanks to everyone who has responded to Children of Colombia’s Covid-19 Amazon Appeal.  Scarlett Wood raised over her target of £500 in her recent Triathlon.  We are so grateful to all our other generous donors who have helped bring aid to the Colombian Amazon families hit by Covid-19.

This is where the funds are going: the picture shows health care workers with the latest batch of essential medical supplies to help the battle against Covid-19 in the Colombian Amazon.

Covid-19 Hits the Colombian Amazon

The busy township of Puerto Nariño on the banks of the River Amazon  in south east Colombia has been hard hit by the pandemic.  Covid-19 has reached even these remote communities with devastating consequences.

Kilyam Gomez, a qualified nurse and member of the Fénix education programme, was born in Puerto Nariño.  Kilyam is responsible for the active search for cases of Covid-19 in the department of Amazonas.  There are 7,000 inhabitants nearly all Ticuna, Cocama and Yagua Indians in Puerto Nariño and surrounding villages.  There are  many vulnerable people including the very old and children suffering from malnutrition.  The local hospital lacks basic equipment such as oxygen regulators and even face-masks and other protective equipment for the staff. 
Tourism, a major source of employment, has completely dried up leaving many families without income or food.  Local flooding has spoiled harvests and now hunger is a serious additional threat.
With no government aid arriving Nurse Kiliyam is appealing for urgent help. Fundaciónes Natütama and Fénix are meeting some of the most desperate needs: Fénix has sent oxygen regulators, N95 masks, disposable gloves, and face shields for the health care staff.  Natütama is funding food supplies for families without resources.
To make a contribution to help feed families and ship further health care supplies to these vulnerable communities just push the Just Giving/Donate button at the top of the page. We can reclaim UK tax increasing the value of donations by 25% if you Gift Aid your donation. Please earmark your donation for either Natütama or Fénix.

Latest News from Colombian Amazon

Here’s the latest update from Fénix Director Timothy Ross to Children of Colombia Chairman Kate Seal:

“Dear Kate,

Latest reports from the Amazon are mixed: while the rates of new infections and of deaths appear to  be slowing, the virus has now spread to some of the most isolated indigenous communities that canot be reached by land or by river, only by air, making prevention, diagnosis, and treatment harder.

Nurse Kilyam says the supplies are hugely welcome and are making a real difference to response capability.

She has just sent us a picture of some of the Puerto Nariño health care team unpacking the latest Fénix shipment of face masks and infra-red thermometers.



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Scarlett Wood fundraising triathlon for Children of Colombia's Amazon Covid-19 Appeal

Congratulations Scarlett – Triathlon Target Smashed!

Congratulations Scarlett Wood on completing a gruelling triathlon in the Pyrenees in aid of Children of Colombia’s Covid-19 appeal.

We are in awe of her achievement and dedication.   Scarlett, 17, has been training with her family during their summer  holiday.  Scarlett even spent her 17th birthday camping outdoors as part of her campaign.  The lakes and mountains of the Pyrenees are beautiful and impressive but a very tough environment to choose for such a demanding sporting challenge.

Not only did Scarlett complete the 10K run, 40K cycle and 1.5 k swim, but she smashed her £500 fundraising target. The money will go to help Fénix and Natütama, two of the Colombian charities supported by Children of Colombia.  They are working together to provide essential medical supplies, PPE  and food for desperate families in the Colombian Amazon rainforest.

Covid-19 in the Colombian Amazon

Scarlett was inspired to help after reading of the plight of indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon who were hit by Covid-19.  High levels of malnourishmnet a lack of basic medical equipment and no goverment aid left them in a very vulnerable situation, compounded by unemployment when tourism was halted by the virus.

“These two charities, Fénix and Natütama, are very close to my heart” explains Scarlett.

“Both were founded by family friends and so I have grown up hearing all about the extraordinary work they do. Fénix works with vulnerable teenage girls in Bogotá, helping  them to stay in school and further education where it would otherwise be impossible. Natütama works with indigenous communities in Puerto Nariño in the Amazon rainforest.  The charity leads community-led protection of their ecosystem – especially manatees and river dolphins!

“I have always found their work inspiring and now they need support more than ever, so I would like to do my part to help.”

You can still donate to Scarlett’s Just Giving Fundraising page on

Here is Scarlett’s message to all her supporters:

“Hi Everyone, I’ve completed my triathlon!! It was boiling hot (32°C) and so I began early and finished at 11:30am. First I ran 10km and watched the sunrise on route. Then my mum and I cycled 40km to lake Montbel. Luckily the lake was calm for my 1.5km swim – Dad followed me on a paddleboard. The run took 54mins, the cycle 1hr30 and the swim 29 mins. I found the triathlon challenging but I enjoyed myself and I’m proud to have done it! Thankyou all so much for sponsoring me, the money’s going to help Amazon communties hit by Covid-19. Scarlett x  

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