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From Bogota to the Amazon – Long Journey for Donated Laptop!

Student Vanessa Laureano is delighted with the new laptop which survived a mammoth journey all the way from St George’s School in Bogotá to Puerto Nariño in the Amazon, one of the most isolated areas in the very south of Colombia.

The refurbished computer was the generous gift of students and staff at Colegio San Jorge de Inglaterra in the Colombian capital Bogotá.  School Principal Jaime Acosta and the school’s IT team made sure that the laptop had all the proper licences and applications required to make it a really useful educational aid – very precious in an area where, unlike Bogotá, laptops are very hard to come by.

The laptop left Bogotá on 27 March this year.  It was taken by courier to Leticia, capital of the Amazonas region of Colombia.  It had to wait for a while as local contact Marelvi from Fundación Natütama was ill with Dengue fever and not well enough to make the long boat journey up the river to collect it.  It finally reached its destination in Puerto Nariño on 5 April – but proved well worth the wait!

Vanessa is studying to be a teacher so she can follow in her mother Marelvi’s footsteps as an educationalist in this remote area of the country.

Thanks to everyone at St George’s for their generous gift which will be put to very good use to help less fortunate students many miles away. One of Bogotá’s best known schools, Colegio San Jorge has a special interest in conservation and the environment – a principal it shares with Natütama the charity dedicated to environmental education and conservation – especially of endangered species – in the Amazon.

“Our school is a natural reserve made up of a savannah wetland inhabited by multiple species of birds, fish, frogs, algae, amonth others.  In addition, we enjoy large areas of high Andean forest and gardens that provide food and shelter to many species of flora and fauna which we can appreciate on a daily basis.  We have identified 208 species of plants and 35 species of birds.” explains the school’s website.

IT – along with English – is another specialist subject for which St George’s prides itself, so the refurbished laptop was the perfect project to fit the school’s philosophy and areas of expertise.


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Book Fair Trip for Fenix Students in Bogota

Youngsters from the Fenix Reading Group had a great day out when they visited the 2023 Bogotá Book Fair with director Beatrix Alvarez.

Beatriz runs regular Saturday classes to encourage girls to read – mainly books and relevant news reports.  The aim is to make reading a pleasurable habit and a part of life rather than required reading for school which can sometimes become a chore.  Secondly, Beatriz hopes to broaden the girls’ horizons and make them aware of important things that are happening in Colombia and beyond.

So in addition to reading about Colombia (primarily Alfredo Molano’s Cartas a Antonia and reports about various forms of inequality in the country), the group has read about and discussed the very different situation of girls and women in Iceland and in Afghanistan under the Taliban, environmental issues, sexual violence, the plight of Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia and other contemporary issues.

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Good News from Natutama

Natütama made great progress in all areas in 2022 – a major recovery after the devastating effects of Covid and disastrous weather in the previous two years. The environmental charity is based in Puerto Nariño, in the Colombian Amazon. It works closely with schools and the local community to conserve and care for the very delicate ecosystems of the Amazon river and shores and the endangered species that struggle to survive in the unique environment. Local staff also manage the Natütama Education Centre – very badly damaged in the floods and storms of the previous year – and supervises monitoring of endangered species such as manatees, river dolphins and sloths by local fishermen.

“After two years of adjusting to Covid conditions, Natütama had a very productive year in 2022. Following re-roofing and re-painting early in the year, the Interpretation Centre received over 4000 visitors and, after a gap of 2 years, once again brought in enough income to cover Centre guiding and other outgoings.” reports founder and director Sarita Kendall.

With schools re-opening, essential repairs completed on the Education Centre (partly funded by your generous donations through Children of Colombia), the revival of tourism and numbers of local wildlife on the increase, 2022 was a very positive year for Natütama. Congratulations to all the local staff who work so hard to promote conservation in this very special region of Colombia.

You can read the whole report here



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Fenix logo - educational charity in Bogota, Colombia

Major Successes for Fenix Students in 2022

2022 was a year of achievements and successes for Fénix students in the Colombian capital Bogotá despite having to cope with the additional problems of bad weather, floods and rocketing street crime as well as sharply rising prices, particularly food, which have made life hard for everyone. However, almost all students have finished 2022 with extremely high grades. “We have had difficult times, with more challenges yet to come, but the important thing is to overcome every obstacle and to keep going ahead”. (Disney – graduate social worker).

Fénix continues to support the young women with funding for higher education courses, mainly in the health and social care sectors.  It also provides money for travel and other essential expenses besides group mentoring and individual encouragement and support.

Deyanire, a qualified psychologist, leads online meetings where girls can discuss their problems, concerns and achievements.  This has helped with self-confidence and the important reassurance of support from the group especially in times of great stress and hardship.

Girls also attend small, intensive group language classes on Saturdays and director Beatriz leads group discussions on political and social affairs in the country including the peace process and the role these young women can play in their society.

It’s not all studying.  The girls have lots of fun, too, with outings to the cinema with ice cream and discussions about the films.

You can read the full Fenix 2022 report here Fénix 2022 – Annual Report Natutama – 2022 Report or on the Fénix page of this website.  It includes some remarkable achievements by some very special, dedicated and talented young women who would not have the opportunity to study and improve their chances in life without the support of Fundacíon Social Fénix.

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Nothing in Moderation – Prue Leith’s UK Tour

Businesswoman, restaurateur, cordon bleu trained chef, author and star of “The Great British Bake Off” TV programme, Dame Prue Leith’s latest venture – and adventure – is a UK-wide tour of her new one-woman show  ‘Nothing in Moderation’.  The show opens in Shrewsbury on 1 Feb and Prue will be taking it to venues around the country until the 6th April.

A longstanding supporter of Children of Colombia, Prue says:

“I have never done a stage show before and at 82 I’m probably nuts to try it, but it’s huge fun, makes the audience laugh and lets me rant away about the restaurant trade, publishers, TV and writing, and sing the praises of food, love and life.”

You can read more about Prue, find recipes, books and articles on fashion and gardening on her own website Prue Leith (

Tour dates and tickets are available from

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Support us this winter for FREE

Help us enter Give as you Live Online’s £10,000 Giveaway before 31st December 2022

Supporting Children of Colombia couldn’t be simpler this winter thanks to Give as you Live Online’s winter giveaway, and here’s how you can take part.

Give as you Live Online are giving you the chance to earn a £10 bonus donation on top of the regular free donations you can raise by using their free shopping tool. When you sign up to support Children of Colombia on Give as you Live Online and complete 3 fund-raising shops by the end of the year, they’ll pay us a bonus £10 donation.

Plus, when you use Give as you Live Online, you’ll raise a free donation with almost every purchase you make at over 6,000 stores, including John Lewis & Partners, Argos, Sainsbury’s, Wilko and

For example, if you were to click through Give as you Live Online to do your monthly grocery shopping at Sainsbury’s, you could raise up to 7.5%* of your spend back as a free donation for us. Based on a click and collect shop of £100 per month, you could raise an extra £35 a year for us, for free! Plus, there’s no limit to how much you can raise.

Getting the free £10 donation

Signing up is easy:

  • Click the button below to be taken to our charity page on Give as you Live Online, and click ‘Sign up’
  • Sign up for an account. You’ll only need to provide your name and email address
  • Complete 3 shops by the end of December. As well as a £10 bonus donation, you’ll earn a donation on each shop.


Full Terms and Conditions can be found here.

*Calculation of £35 a year is based on 1 £100 shop as a new customer using click and collect at 7.5%, and 11 subsequent shops as an existing customer using click and collect at 2.5%. Rates are subject to change at retailer’s discretion.

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Raise free funds for Children of Colombia when you do your Christmas shopping with give as you live

Your Christmas Shopping Can Raise Free Funds with Give As You Live

Every purchase you make this Black Friday and throughout the festive season could earn us a free donation, thanks to @giveasyoulive:

💸 It’s free
📱 There’s a handy app
🛍️ There are over 6,000 stores!

Sign up to support us now >
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Congratulations Alex for Completing the Noosa Triathlon

Congratulations to Alex Raikes who successfully completed the challenging Noosa Triathlon in Queensland, Australia last Sunday.

To date Alex’s effort raised almost £1000 for Children of Colombia.  You can still make a donation on her Just Giving page Alexandra Raikes is fundraising for Children Of Colombia (

Alex was born in Bogotá, Colombia where she spent her early years and still has family and friends and the charity Children of Colombia is very close to her heart.  Alex has been a Trustee since 2018 and continues to support the charity since moving to Australia.

Noosa is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations with beautiful beaches and countryside.  The Noosa Triathlon is a major challenge to fitness, personal stamina and determination.  Alex had to swim 1.5 km in Laguna Bay off Noosa Main Beach – avoiding sea turtles, sharks and other competitors in her first open water race.  A 40 km bike ride followed through the countryside behind the resort including a very tough two kilometer hill climb which needed serious let power. Last came a 10km run along Noosa Parade with supporters cheering and encouraging the competitors all the way to the finishing line.

Well done Alex – a fantastic achievement and a huge thank you from everyone at Children of Colombia.  Your fundraising will help give sick and poor children and young people in Colombia a better start in life.



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Getting Ready for the Garmin Noosa Triathlon

Children of Colombia Trustee Alex Raikes is getting ready to take part in the Garmin Noosa Triathlon tomorrow in sunny Queensland, Australia.

Alex, who was born in Bogotá and spent her childhood there, is raising funds for Children of Colombia.  This is her first Triathlon and will be a huge challenge – especially the swimming section as Alex has not done a lot of swimming since leaving school and has little experience of open water swimming.  And hopefully avoiding the sharks!

Visit Alex’s Just Giving page send messages of support and donations ahead of tomorrow’s big event.  Watch this page to see how she gets on.

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Trustee Alex ran the London Marathon to raise funds for Children of Colombia

Alex enters Aussie Triathlon to raise funds for Children of Colombia

Trustee Alex Raikes is entering the Noosa Triathlon in Queensland, Australia this weekend to raise funds for the charity.  You can support her via her Just Giving page :

A keen runner and longstanding supporter of Children of Colombia, Alex has previously run the London Marathon and done a Tough Mudder challenge.  Both raised awareness of the charity and much needed sponsorship money to help the charities’ work on the ground in Bogotá and the Amazon.  But this is the first time Alex has attempted a Triathlon.  She says:

“This will be my first triathlon and it has been a huge challenge getting ready for it! Very sore legs and arms!

“It will be a 1.5km open ocean swim (hopefully avoiding all the sharks), a 40km cycle and then a 10km run.

“Before moving to Australia I hadn’t done much swimming since school and certainly not open water swimming! It has been quite a challenge to get comfortable in the open ocean and especially a fairly long distance! I’m definitely most worried about this leg.”

A pinnacle event on the Australian sporting calendar, the Garmin Noosa tri is ranked one of the world’s top 10 triathlons. “When the best athletes, biggest competitor field, beautiful beach-side vibe and week-long festivities of Noosa all come together, there’s nowhere else you’ll want to be,” says the Triathlon website.  Alex had hoped to complete the challenge earlier but the event was delayed due to Covid.  Now she is entering with a group of friends.

Alex spent most of her childhood years in Bogotá, Colombia before moving to the UK and still has friends and family there. Alex currently lives and works in Australia but visits her family and friends in the UK and Colombia regularly.

“I have chosen to compete in aid of Children for Colombia as Colombia will always hold a big part of my heart and I am grateful for the amazing work that the three charities we support do. I am hoping that any money that I’m able to raise, will go towards helping improve lives in my wonderful home country.”

Click on the link below to find out more or make a donation in support of Alex’s Noosa Triathlon.


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