UNHCR Education Project, Colombia
The ongoing conflict across many parts of Colombia has left around four million internally displaced people (IDP), more than 500,000 of which are under-18. Education is seen as vital to this vulnerable group, enhancing their future prospects and protecting them from violence, exploitation and forced recruitment into military groups.
With the support of a €100,000 donation from the Lebara Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Colombia has introduced an IDP protection and prevention strategy, providing better access to good education in safe environments for refugee children, with a particular focus on girls.
A team of educators is reaching out to displaced children in schools across the country, while a new sustainable education strategy and several enhancements to infrastructure have hugely improved conditions and standards in 15 de Mayo, in the Municipality of Mocoa.
A new school refectory has been built in Neiva, assisting children in vital life skills, nutrition and lifestyle; and work to sensitise women and young girls around sexual and gender-based violence is giving them more of a voice in their communities.
This vital work has enabled the UNHCR in Colombia to directly enhance the prospects of more than 30,000 young IDPs, creating a legacy which will help thousands more for years to come.