Closing the Gap - Education Program

Fundacion Afrocaribe is based in the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena, Colombia. This historic city holds UNESCO World Heritage status and each year tens of thousands of tourists enter its 13km of centuries old colonial stonewalls and wander its picturesque old town. Outside of this fairytale centre is a different reality. Over 45% of Cartagena's people live in poverty, the consequences of which include a high rate of gang-violence, sexual violence against women and children, teenage pregnancy, drug dependency and homelessness.

The Foundation builds on the legacy of San Pedro Claver, "the slaves of the slaves", a Spanish monk who was appalled at the treatment of the slaves and worked tirelessly for over 35 years to improve their conditions.

The Foundation now focuses on education and work opportunities for the Afro-Colombian people. Our two key education programs for 2016 are:

1. Literacy and Numeracy

Many children between the age of 7-18 had missed out on the chance to learn these basic skills substantially decreasing their capacity to participate in public education and causing problems like low self-esteem and behavioural issues.

The Literacy Program is an outreach program, delivered in the neighbourhoods where the children live, with locally-based teachers, in premises that are offered in-kind by local residents or owned by Fundacion Afrocaribe.

The neighbourhoods are both classed as socio-economic strata Level 1 (out of 6), the most disadvantaged in Colombia. On average children in these sectors receive 5.2-7.4 years of education compared to 10.7-12.9 in the richer parts of Cartagena.

Watch the development of our libraries here:

Or head to our programs page for more information.

2. Youth Leadership and Social Enterpreneurship

Since 2013, Fundacion Afrocaribe has offered school holiday leadership camps and programs to youth aged 10-18. In 2015, we held an entrepreneurship for children aged 10-14 and a youth social enterpreneurship program for those aged 14-18. 

Our other programs include:

Orphanage education and essentials

FUndacion Afrocaribe has supported a boys home for over 4 years with numerous activities and resources including furniture, books, clothes and hygiene products. In 2015, the boys received a kind donation in memory of Australian Steve Reeves. Colleagues of Steve from Sydney Trains had donated enough money for Steve’s wife Marion to purchase 2 computers, 2 desks and chairs, a bookshelf and books for the boys’ home. The computers allow the boys to complete their homework and importantly build their literacy skills.

Business enterprise

For small business owners in the local neighbourhoods we provide a business link service, small business training and mentoring.

Get involved by volunteering your time, attending an event or by helping us fundraise for resources! 

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