The Developing Minds Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida that is sponsoring 7 programs throughout Colombia aimed at better the lives of many underprivileged children.
“The mission of the Developing Minds Foundation is to transform people’s lives through education, especially those that are affected by the cycle of extreme poverty and violence.”
In Cañasgordas, San Jose de la Montaña, San Pedro de los Milagros and Uramita they are supporting a literacy program that has introduced a reading program for hundreds of rural families living in these conflict areas. These rural areas tend to have very high poverty rates and illiteracy in these regions tends to be in the neighbourhood of 30% rather than the 11% in the urban population. Developing minds has partnered with a Medellin Foundation, ‘Secretos Para Contar” to deliver these programs.
Lower levels of education and fewer economic opportunities makes it far easier to recruit the younger people into the various armed groups that contribute to the civil unrest in the rural areas of Colombia.
With the internal armed conflict within the countryside, many families find themselves displaced and living in situations where they face discrimination in education, employment, health care and housing. The youth living in these situations are at higher risk of recruitment from gangs, guerillas and paramilitary organizations.
In Southern Bogota and Soacha, in conjunction with Fusion International, a nonprofit based out of Seattle, Washington, the Developing Minds Foundation has created a two year vocational training program for 50 youth between the ages of 15 and 25. The goals are to provide these young people with technical training small business development guidance so they can develop personally and professionally and make positive contributions to their community.
The Colombian government along with the Salesian Order operate a facility created to house and re-educate youth who have escaped from their lives as child soldiers. Many were recruited between the ages of 12 and 17 and were forced to serve with the various armed factions in conflict with the Colombian population. The Developing Minds Foundation has been supporting this project by establishing a library, a computer room as well as organizing retreats with educational and psychological leaders.
To learn more about The Developing Minds Foundation, follow this link – http://www.developingmindsfoundation.org/index.php