Colombia

28%

of the population live below the poverty line of less than £1.45 a day.

875,000

women (estimated) have been raped during the course of the civil war; 12,000 of these were assaulted by armed men.

11

million people are affected each year by climate change, including droughts and flooding.

7.2

million people have been internally displaced in the ongoing conflict.

About Colombia

Geographically, ethnically and linguistically diverse, Colombia is found in Latin America’s Andean region. It shares a mountain range with Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as an area of Amazon rainforest.

The middle-income nation is home to Latin America’s longest-running civil conflict; 6.9 million people are still internally displaced – the world's highest number. As a result of disrupted education and poverty, a large number of children live on the streets and child labour is common.

Young people in cities are in danger of being coerced into joining illegal armed groups. They are also at risk of drug and alcohol addiction, teenage pregnancy, family breakdown and domestic violence. Throughout the conflict, thousands of women have suffered from sexual violence at the hands of rebels, which has left a generation of women scarred emotionally and physically.

Although Colombia is developing rapidly and is currently the fourth largest economy in Latin America, there are still vast inequalities: 27.8 per cent of the population still live below the poverty line. All this is worsened by Colombia’s vulnerability to natural disasters; more than 11 million people are affected each year by droughts, earthquakes and flooding.

How we do it

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

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Vulnerable People

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Church & Community Transformation

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Advocacy

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Our Work in Colombia

Tearfund has been working in Colombia since 1980, with a strong focus on helping vulnerable and destitute children. This follows the mass displacement of families during the Colombian civil war.

We currently work through our partner Red Viva de Colombia in the areas of child development and in mobilising churches to become agents of social change. Working with and through a network of around 100 churches and 67 Christian organisations, Red Viva is improving the lives of children and families at risk in five Colombian cities.

Tearfund is also assisting the many thousands of women who have experienced sexual abuse, either in refugee camps or in other communities where families have resettled. We are currently supporting programmes for survivors of sexual violence, which provide a safe environment for women to meet and process their experiences, as well as discovering the transforming love of God.

Tearfund also provides emergency support in the aftermath of severe flooding, from climate change.

OUR PARTNERS IN COLOMBIA: Red Viva de Colombia, Alliance for Childhood, Colombia & CORSOC

ACHIEVEMENTS

25

women survivors of sexual attacks have started small businesses after receiving emotional/spiritual healing.

1,080

children who were at risk of becoming involved in gangs and drug traffic are now being taken care of by 27 churches.

32

churches are taking action to prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence.

640

families received food, healthcare and emotional/spiritual support after flooding in the Chocó region and Mocoa city.

Pray for our work

  • Pray for the nation of Colombia – for peace to be restored, and the violence and conflict to end.
  • Pray for all those who have experienced abuse. Pray that God will bring an end to this horrific violence, and for survivors to be set free in Jesus’ name.
  • Please pray that, through the work with vulnerable children and their families, many children will be protected from harm and exploitation.
  • Lift up the local church, that they would be equipped to support communities to find solutions to their problems.
  • Pray that communities will be equipped to respond effectively to the impact of severe weather conditions.

Stories from Colombia

  • Fifty years, fifty countries: Colombia

    Home to Latin America’s longest-running civil conflict, Colombia is a nation where children face huge challenges. As a result of disrupted education and poverty, a large number of children live on the streets and child labour is common. Tearfund has been working in Colombia since 1980, with a strong focus on helping vulnerable children.

    Read More
  • Helen Hero pic

    Meet Helen Baquero

    As part of our celebrations marking 50 years of Tearfund, we will be introducing some of our hard-working heroes, who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Today, meet Helen from Barranquilla, Colombia.

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  • Colombian woman by orange wall on street

    Unstoppable

    A single mother from Colombia decides to speak up about sexual violence in her nation. Warning: this story contains descriptions of sexual violence.

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  • Wiwa youth leaders visiting and sharing with Kogi people

    Who Do You Think You Are?

    For many years, the indigenous people of Colombia have been told that they are ‘nobody’. One woman is encouraging them to celebrate who they really…

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Where we're working