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Celebrating Biodiversity Worldwide

May 22 was Worldwide Day of Diversity – celebrating the wonderful and fascinating variety of life on earth.  There are around 1.2 million known species of animals and plants but scientists estimate that there could be as many as 7 million waiting to be identified.  Many of these are invertebrates such as fungi and bacteria but there are still mammals being discovered.  More than 53 new species of primates have been identified since 2000.

The world is vast and there are many environments that we are only just beginning to explore.   These including remote rainforest canopies such as those in the Colombian Amazon, cloud forests and oceanic trenches.

The 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service estimates that around 1 millions animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.  Often the ones we hear about as being at risk are the big mammals like elephants, tigers, giant pandas, and whales.  But there are many plants, trees, invertebrates, reptiles, fish and amphibians that are also listed as at risk but don’t hit the headlines.. They don’t make as great a media picture to put on the news but they are just as important.

Fundación Natütama is a Colombian NGO that has been working to protect endangered species in the Colombian Amazon since 2005.  Working with indigenous communities along the River Amazon near Puerto Puerto Nariño, it aims to show local fishermen and villagers how they can protect Amazonian wildlife while living and working in
the same environment. Natütama also runs a conservation monitoring programme with local fishermen to gather information about wildlife numbers, distribution and trends with the aim of identifying and preventing potential threats. Monitored endangered species include the Amazonian manatee, Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin), Two-Toed Sloth, Amazonian River turtles and Boa Constrictors.

Biodiversity_Children of Colombia-2



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New electric hospital style beds bought thanks to donations from Children of Colombia

Hurrah – New Beds Delivered!

Exciting news – the new hospital-style electric beds have finally been delivered to the Luz y Vida children’s home in Bogotá purchased thanks to your generous donations to Children of Colombia!

The beds are electrically operated and adjustable to different positions to raise the patient’s back or legs or the mattress height and make it easier for carers to attend to the child’s needs.  They have IV (Intravenous Therapy) stands and custom-built mattresses to help prevent bedsores and improve patient comfort.  They will help the dedicated carers at Hogares Luz y Vida to provide better care and comfort for some of the very sick children who live at the home in downtown Bogotá.

Luz y Vida Director Sister Valeriana Martin has kept us informed of each step in the acquisition process from the initial purchase order and is providing copies of all important documents including receipts, guarantees and national health permits to make sure the process is transparent and we can see where every penny of the money raised is going.

“With great joy we share that after a long wait and formalities, we have received the electric beds!  We already have them in the home; we are just waiting for (technicians) to come and assemble them and provide an induction for their use and care,” writes Valeriana.

“Con gran alegría les compartimos que luego de una larga espera y trámites, nos llegaron las camas eléctricas, ya contamos con ellas en el Hogar, sólo quedamos a la espera de que puedan venir a realizar el armado e inducción para su uso y cuidado; como soporte de ello nos permitimos enviar adjunto los soportes de legalización, factura, garantías permisos de los equipos por parte de la autoridad nacional de sanidad y equipos médicos.”

Education is important at Luz y Vida children's care home in Bogota

It has been a long wait as Colombia is experiencing serious problems.  The staff at Luz y Vida are coping not only with the challenge of caring for very vulnerable children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the public protests, marches, strikes and civic unrest that have resulted in massive disruption and violent clashes between police and protesters.

“These two situations have kept us in constant confinement and created difficulties regarding health care and the supply of basic household items due to the closure and blockades of the national road network.  We continue to strive to ensure decent care and quality of life for these children, so we have been able to overcome these circumstances, ensuring timely service and meeting the primary needs of our children, adolescents and young people.”

Currently, Hogares Luz y Vida provides residential care for 230 children and young people who live in their two bright, loving and happy  homes – one in Bogotá and the other in the countryside outside the city for more the more able-bodied.  A further 100 children are enrolled in their external education programmes.Samuel Galvez supports Children of Colombia

A very special thank you goes to Samuel and Gabriel Gelvez-Zapata, two little boys in Cambridge, UK, who set up their own Just Giving page to support Children of Colombia’s Bed Appeal and raised over £700 towards the total.

We will keep you posted as soon as we have more news and pictures of the beds in use!


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