2015 VivArte Funded Projects in Colombia

Total approved funding: $US 515,029

  • $US 256,875 went to VivArte 2015 participating artists.
  • $US 258,154 went to the following philanthropic initiatives by Foundations Caring for Colombia and Primero Lo Primero.
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Caring for Colombia (CFC) is an international non-profit organization, which

has committed to empowering vulnerable Colombian children and youths for

over a decade.

From its headquarters in New York, CFC raises, channels, and monitors

resources to Colombian organizations striving to provide disadvantaged

children with the life skills necessary to climb out of poverty. We are currently

harnessing the power of art as an instrument to foster creative minds and

healthy bodies. Bringing self-esteem to our kids helps them to realize their full

potential and empower themselves to carve a different future for their families

and their community. CFC has a holistic threefold approach: health, education,

and art.

Since its beginning in 2003, Caring for Colombia has transformed the lives of

over 80,000 beneficiaries. The net proceeds from VivArte 2016 will be

channeled by Caring for Colombia to organizations selected by our Board of

Directors. Thus, we aim to fund exceptional high-impact social initiatives with a

mission that matches our approach, and whose project execution is of the

highest degree of transparency and efficacy. Now more than ever, our efforts

will focus on victims of the armed conflict and on providing them with

opportunities to transform their lives and create a culture of peace.

Project: Creciendo Juntos

Location: Barrio Arauquita II, Bogotá, Colombia

Fundación Biofuturo was established in 2004, in the hillsides of North

Bogotá, where families displaced by the violent conflict have come to live. The

main goal is to provide relief to the isolation and solitude that children suffer

each day due to their parent’s unavailability on after-school hours. This absence

presents risk factors to the children, such as substance abuse and crime, which

result in reduced opportunities to future jobs. Thus, in 2007 the project

Creciendo Juntos was created, and has since received CFC support for over six

years. The objective is to offer programs where children find a safe

environment: this generates confidence, a sense of belonging, responsibility,

independence, self-esteem, and the opportunity to express feelings and

perception of the world through artistic creativity, reading, and academic


Impact: 90 children and teenagers between the ages of 4 and 17 years old

 Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Project: Tayunkeru

Location: Nazareth, La Guajira, Colombia

Prosowa was established in 2013 as a Caring for Colombia initiative, with the

goal of fostering the integral development and wellbeing of the indigenous

people and communities present in Colombia. The Wayúu are the largest ethnic

indigenous group in Colombia; unfortunately, they have suffered from a

catastrophic draught in the region since 2013. Prosowa contributes to the

improvement of economic, social, cultural, technological, environmental,

educational, and health aspects. It also seeks to protect these communities’

human rights and detect risk factors that might affect or compromise the

preservation of their traditions, lifestyle, and cultural identity. To this end,

Prosowa is completing the Tayunkeru (“I Can” in native Wayunaki) project: the

construction of a sustainable educational complex – classrooms, dining hall,

solar panels, and community water filters – in Nazareth, in the High Guajira

region. This complex will offer a wide range of formative and awareness

campaigns, health outreach sessions, as well as recreational, educational, and

cultural activities to the indigenous communities of the area. This includes

workshops and training to mothers who are family heads on handcraft

improvement, as well as family health and sanitation procedures.

Impact: 210 children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old, 150 mothers who

are family heads, and indirectly benefitting 840 families in the area


Project: Héctor Salah Zuleta Library

Location: Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia

Prosowa, along with other public and private entities, is supporting the drive

for resources to finish the Héctor Salah Zuleta Library. The high poverty and

mortality levels in the Guajira region is a serious issue that should concern

everyone. Thus, we seek to use spaces such as this one to educate, coach, and

inspire people of all ages. This library and information center will focus on the

following UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): eradicating extreme

poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender

equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal

health, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global

partnership for development. In this first phase, Prosowa has invested in one of

the computer lounges.

Impact: 137,224 people in the city of Riohacha, and indirectly benefitting 902,386 people from the department/state of La Guajira

 Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Fundación Tiempo de Juego

Project: En La Juega Cultural

Location: Barrio La Lucha, Santa Marta, Colombia

Fundación Tiempo de Juego was established in 2006 in Bogotá, and has

since spread its initiative to Santa Marta and Cartagena. With its central

methodology of “Fútbol por la Paz” (“Soccer for Peace”), their main purpose is to

use positive psychosocial components from this group sport to transform the

often negative reality that children and adolescents face in their own

communities. The project seeks to develop healthy coexistence in the field,

transmit the value of a team dynamic, motivate inclusion and shared leadership,

and to foster the capacity to use one’s own criterion. The main goal is to

prepare them to successfully face the diverse situations and scenarios they may

encounter during their lives. From the soccer field, the project has expanded to

a central office where artistic activities, including dance, music, and reading

workshops, as well as other educational programs, are offered.

Impact: 90 children and teenagers, and indirectly benefitting 430 families.

 Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Universidad de Antioquia

Project: La Paz es una Obra de Arte

Location: Barrio Nueva Villa de la Iguaná (Comuna 7), Medellín, Colombia

Universidad de Antioquia partnered this year with Caring for Colombia to

create this artistic initiative intended for children between the ages of seven and

eleven years old, from communities living in extreme poverty. The pilot project

is located in this neighborhood in the outskirts of Medellín, but we aim to

replicate the project in other neighborhoods and regions. La Paz es una Obra de

Arte, meaning Peace is a Work of Art, proposes alternative access to art and

culture, in terms of equality and inclusion; it offers artistic education workshops

to children, based on a key concept: art as tool for social transformation. In this

way, by using theatre, music, and visual arts, we strengthen these children’s self

esteem and creativity, teach them positive ways to solve conflicts, and foster

conscience on the importance of practicing values that build a peaceful society.

Impact: 30 children between the ages of 7 and 11 years old, and indirectly

benefitting 120 families

 Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

Photograph courtesy of Ashley Szczesiak

El Caracolí – Early Childhood Development Center:

Project: El Caracoli

Location: Yumbo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

CFC cooperated with First Step Big Step and contributed with funds for

computers in a media classroom. To find the information about the Caracolí

nonprofit, read below.

First Step Big Step (now Primero Lo Primero U.S.)

First Step Big Step (Primero Lo Primero U.S.) is a 501(c)(3) organization based in New York

City dedicated to supporting the healthy early childhood development of Colombia’s

most vulnerable children.  Primero Lo Primero is the strongest alliance for early

childhood development in Colombia. The first three years of life are critical for brain

development, impacting both the social and intellectual life of a child. Our

mission is to help shape a generation of citizens capable of growing Colombia

into a developed country with significantly increased economic opportunity for


El Caracolí – Early Childhood Development Center:

Project: El Caracoli

Location: Yumbo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

El Caracolí was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit organization

under Colombian law on June 9, 2010 in the municipality of Yumbo, Valle del

Cauca. The founding organizations were Fundación Smurfit Kappa (local

corporate foundation), First Step Big Step (international NGO), and Jardin Crios

(local ECD operator). El Caracolí offers, to children under 5 years old, a program

that teaches the social and educational tools needed to become proactive

members of the community, in accordance with policy guidelines and

Government Policy. These combine the efforts of various sectors, thus ensuring

the fulfillment of their basic needs, protection, upbringing, and development.

Today, El Caracolí is directly impacting the development of 1,126 children

zero to five years of age. El Caracolí has recently joined the Primero Lo Primero

alliance, the strongest collective impact vehicle dedicated to early childhood

development, in the effort to continue impacting as many children possible in

the Valle del Cauca region.

Impact: 2,014 individuals, of which 1,126 are children 0 to 5 years of age

• Teacher & Parent training workshops

• Construction of multi-use facility, which supports staff and training


aeioTU – Early Childhood Development Centers:

Project: aeioTu centers

Location: Villas de San Pablo, Barranquilla & Bicentenario, Cartagena, Colombia

aeioTU – Fundación Carulla was established in 2008 as a social enterprise that

works in partnership with the public and private sector in Colombia to provide

comprehensive high-quality care, education, and nutrition to children under five

years old. Additionally aeioTU supports other early childhood centers and

educators, to expand their knowledge and program reach. Nowadays, the

aeioTU network is comprised of 29 high-quality comprehensive centers,

impacting 13,651 children throughout Colombia.

Impact: 3,600 individuals, of which 1,200 are children 0 to 5 years of age

• Operational costs not funded by ICBF (Colombian Family Welfare Institute)

for 12 months

• Quality control of the centers