Students of Fundacion Social Fénix celebrated graduations, university places and academic and professional success in 2018 - a year of dedication, hard work and more outstanding achievement. Congratulations to everyone involved in mentoring, encouraging and supporting these young women from very poor and abusive backgrounds to find a brighter future through education. More details and information at the foot of this page or click here to read the full Fenix 2018 Report.
Fundacion Social Fenix was founded in 2007 to provide educational assistance, group support, peer leader mentoring, tutoring and leadership training to vulnerable young people without resources.
Fénix’s pioneering outreach programme is widely recognised for its effective methods and successful results and has been copied by local health services and international organisations. Its founders have years of experience supporting young people - all victims of abuse and neglect - in the difficult transition from care programme to independent living and tertiary education. Fenix helps the young women on its programme to choose and enter degree courses, finds financial assistance and scholarships, supplies computers and text-books and offers guidance and support when needed.
The programme goal is to educate highly motivated young adults in social and health science professions. They are also trained as peer leaders and work with socially excluded and vulnerable groups who otherwise would have little chance of achieving their full potential. Their own experiences of neglect, abuse and institutional life give them invaluable knowledge and understanding and a greatly enhanced ability to work with other young people at risk or in youth institutions, thus contributing significantly to an improved quality of care and eventually to programme leadership and policy generation.
Fénix Report 2018 - Highlights
Lizeth and Eunise have been in New Jersey, working and taking English evening classes. A Fénix godmother, Tova Sola, gave them a memorable weekend tour of New York and Washington.
Zarina, who graduated at the beginning of the year from a postgraduate specialization in health care auditing, has gone to New York, where with her salary as an assistant dentist she can pay for an eight month English course in a community college to gain the language proficiency required for her next postgraduate qualification, and save towards setting up her own dental clinic on return to Bogotá.
Paola, a Social Worker with the Bogotá YMCA-ACJ programme for sexually exploited youth and at-risk children, went to a YMCA international women’s conference in Florida and then on to Los Angeles to stay with long-time Fénix participant Amy Ritterbusch, now a UCLA professor, and to explore UCLA possibilities for taking her master’s degree there.
All this has taken determination, autonomous decision-making, mature self-confidence and the courage to venture into the unknown.
Daniela graduated from high school at the end of November, her grade point average boosted by a very high mark for English – in which she is now fluent after completing three semesters of intensive English classes on a scholarship at the Colombo-American Centre. Fénix has some funds set aside to help her but may need to ask friends of Fénix for support in 2020.
Many members who participated in Fénix’ pioneering programmes of street outreach and HIV/STI prevention, testing, treatment access and sexual and reproductive health rights gained the knowledge, experience and skills needed for full-time jobs in the programmes of other organizations.
Doctor Viviana received her Masters in Public Health at the beginning the year and continues managing a team responsible for organising patient procedures, tests and medications, and advising surgeons on patient qualifications for certain interventions.
Yenifer is a Nurse-Auditor with a major Bogotá hospital responsible for care quality; a highly competent professional who has to supervise and coordinate teams of specialists to ensure adequate and urgent treatment of dangerously ill patients.
Fénix supported Oriana for a university entrance exam course and she has gained a place in the Universidad Pedagógica to start a degree in community education and human rights. Natalia has gained a place at the Universidad Libre to start a law degree.
Click here to visit Fenix Website: www.fenix.org.uk
Fenix students and directors discuss plans for the next 10 years with Children of Colombia's Secretary Gwyneth