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Fundraise for Children of Colombia from home with Give as You LIve

Want to Help in Lockdown? Try Fundraising with the Give As you Live Stay at Home Challenge

Looking for ways to make the most of your time in local lockdown?

It’s easy to raise funds for Children of Colombia and do your bit to keep everyone safe with the Give as You Live Stay at Home challenge.

As a direct result of Covid-19 thousands of events have been cancelled, meaning the loss of millions in donations and sponsorship for UK charities. But with a little imagination, we can make a real difference and keep our minds and bodies active at a time when we are required to stay at home.

If you are one of the many who’ve taken up running walking or cycling to keep up your fitness while socially distancing you could take part in a virtual sporting event.  But a virtual run or cycle on your home treadmill or exercise bike works just as well if you don’t fancy getting out in the cold or are in quarantine.  If you are a teacher, then virtual yoga or pilates or zumba classes or videos could be a great way to share your knowledge while raising funds for poor and vulnerable children in Colombia, South America.

There are plenty of ways to fundraise that don’t involve wearing lycra and sports shoes.  You can do your bit by holding a virtual quiz or an online games tournament with friends, neighbours and family.  Or fundraise by sharing your  special interest or talent – sewing tips, household hints or top recipes for winter meals.  What about a sponsored head shave if you can’t get to the hairdresser or barber?  Whatever your skills, you can create a sponsorship page on the Give as you Live Donate platform to raise funds for Children of Colombia.

You can raise money doing almost anything – just ask people to donate!  Take part 

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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.

Abrazos

Timothy”

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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 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scarlett-wood

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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Scarlett’s Triathlon Diary

 

Schoolgirl Scarlett Woods is training hard for her first ever Triathlon.  Not one to take the easy route, Scarlett has entered the tough Mountain Triathlon in the Pyrennees to raise funds for Children of Colombia's Amazon Covid-19 Appeal.

"First I’m going to do the swim in a local mountain lake (1500m), followed by the cycle (40km) and run (10km)"

Scarlett even spent her 17th birthday in the mountains preparing for the event.  Here is the latest from her training diary:

" (21/08) The baking sun, cramps, horned cattle and getting lost meant today's 7km run was quite interesting! (22&23rd) We walked 11km on the first day, starting off in cool cloud and then climbing above it, to camp in the sun by a small lake. I woke up on my birthday with Zeb smothering me, and dad snoring ridiculously loud.  If it hadn't been so early, it would've been very funny. We then walked 15km home, with amazing panoramic views."

Well done from all of us - and if you'd like to read more or help Scarlett beat her fundraising target visit her Just Giving page

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

Scarlett’s Triathlon for Amazon Covid-19 Appeal

Scarlett Wood's Triathlon for Children of Colombia's Covid-19 AppealBritish student Scarlett Wood, age 16, is training for her first triathlon to support Children of Colombia’s Covid-19 appeal for aid to communities in the Colombian Amazon. Indigenous families in the area around Puerto Nariño have been very hard hit by the effects of Covid-19 on health and income on top of recent poor harvests.

“I’m working hard for my A levels as I want to be a vet. My dream is to help animals and I can’t wait to work on community welfare and conservation projects).” says Scarlett.

Supporting Communities in the Colombian Amazon

“This August I have challenged myself to complete my first ever triathlon to raise money to help save lives and protect people from Covid-19 in the Amazon rainforest. This urgent work is being carried out by two Colombian charities which are very close to my heart – ‘Fénix’ and ‘Natütama’. 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, supporting 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, supporting community-led protection of their ecosystem – especially manatees and river dolphins!

“Fénix and Natütama are now on the front-line of the Amazon Covid-19 Appeal. High levels of malnourishment, a complete lack of even basic medical equipment and no government aid for vulnerable Amazon communities means they are depending on charities such as Fénix and Natütama for help. Fénix is providing PPE for health care workers and oxygen regulators; Natütama is distributing food to families who desperately need it.

“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.

Scarlett’s Triathlon Amazon Covid-19 Appeal

“I am going to complete the triathlon in the Pyrenees during my family holiday. First I’m going to do the swim in a local mountain lake, followed by the cycle and run.  Both will involve the extra challenge of going up and down the mountains! I enjoy running with our dogs, have been part of Bath Dolphins Swimming Club since I was 7, and have started road cycling during lockdown. This will be the first time I’ve put all three together. I am excited to do this challenge, especially to raise money for such an urgent and life-saving cause. Please support me in helping these vulnerable people.”

If you would like to support Scarlett’s Triathlon Amazon Covid-19 Appeal visit Sclarlett’s Just Giving page

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Amazon Covid-19 Appeal – Fenix and Natutama

Children of Colombia has set up a new campaign on Just Giving to help indigenous families in the Colombian Amazon who have been very hard hit by Covid-19. With no properly equipped hospitals or medical facilities and no government aid so far the community is suffering from the combined impact of Covid-19 and recent poor harvests which have had devastating results on the local health and economy. The elderly and children are always most vulnerable and Fenix and Natutama have been working together to provide medical and food supplies – sourced by Fenix students in Bogota and distributed by Natutama educators and volunteers in Puerto Narino in the Amazonas district where they are based.

Click this Just Giving link to go straight to the campaign page – donations will automatically be ear-marked for Fenix and Natutama. Thank you!

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Colombian Amazon Hit Hard by Covid-19 – Aid Needed Urgently

In south-east Colombia, the busy township of Puerto Nariño on the banks of the River Amazon can only be reached by water – but the Covid-19 infection has already arrived!

The lock-down means tourism, a major source of employment, has completely dried up leaving many families without income or food. At this time of year food stores from last year’s harvest are exhausted and now hunger is a serious additional threat.
Kilyam Gomez, a Fénix graduate nurse born in Puerto Nariño, is responsible for the active search for cases of Covid-19 in the department of Amazonas. 26 new cases were found in just one day in May. There are 7,000 inhabitants nearly all Ticuna, Cocama and Yagua Indians, in Puerto Nariño and surrounding villages with large numbers of vulnerable people including the very old and children suffering from malnutrition, while the local hospital lacks basic equipment such as oxygen regulators and even face-masks and other protective equipment for the staff.
 
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.

 

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Colombia Coffee Roasters in Oxford raised funds for Children of Colombia with a collection box in their coffee shop in Oxford's Covered Market

A Big Thank You to Customers and Staff at Oxford’s Colombia Coffee Roasters

Trustee Kate Seal collected the full Children of Colombia collecting box recently from Colombia Coffee Roasters in Oxford’s Covered Market. It was heavy – customers and staff had collected an amazing £40.57. This lovely amount will go straight towards helping our three foundations in Colombia:
Luz y Vida‘s homes for sick and abandoned children in S Bogotá, Fénix which provides education and care for disadvantaged girls and Natütama’s environmental education and conservation programme for local children on the Amazon River.
People’s loose change can make a big difference!
Congratulations to Colombia Coffee Roasters for opening their new coffee shop in Summertown, Oxford.
“Colombia Coffee Roasters are speciality, single-origin coffee roasters born and based in Oxford (UK). We are part of a generation of coffee growers in Colombia with a strong focus on delivering high-quality coffee and education, whilst supporting Fair Trade conditions to ensure our coffee is sustainable and ethical.” says director Millie Barr.
 

 

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Hermana Valeriana, founder and director of Hogares Luz y Vida homes for very sick and abandoned children in downtown Bogota, Colombia

Trustee Antonia Visits the Luz y Vida Children’s Home, Bogota

Children of Colombia Trustee Antonia Bonilla was very impressed by her first visit to the Luz y Vida children’s home in Bogotá, Colombia last month.
“I visited the orphanage and met several staff members as well as (founder and director) Hermana Valeriana.
“I was so moved by the incredible work of the foundation and the love and attention that the children receive. They are cared for by committed professionals: nurses, social workers, doctors, physiotherapists, dentists, nutritionists, and others.
“The cleanliness and organisation of the operation is remarkable – the children could not be in a better place.”
Children of Colombia has been supporting Hogares Luz y Vida since 2002. Hogares Luz y Vida cares for very sick, poor and abandoned children who have nowhere else to go for health care, love and support. Read more on our Luz y Vida page.

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