La Fundacion Las Golondrinas has built one-third of a new center for early-childhood development but requires additional funding to continue construction. The early-childhood center will serve young children in Llanaditas, Medellin, a marginal neighborhood where many families live in poverty and have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict.
The Colombian government lacks the capacity to build and manage schools at the margins of large cities such as Medellin. As a result, families living in neighborhoods like Llanaditas must travel prohibitive distances to take their children to one of the few early-childhood centers. Indeed, many families live in poverty and, as a result, many children are under-nourished. In addition, many parents raise their children distantly and sternly, including using violence.
The early childhood development center will serve 300 children (aged 3 months to 5 years) every year, along with their families-right in their own community. Once constructed, parents will bring their children to the center from 7:30am-4pm. Children will receive a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and a snack. And teachers will encourage these youngsters to learn, build, and investigate using innovative teaching methods to develop their cognitive, emotional, and social capacities.
This project will have ripple effects throughout the community for generations. Each year,for many years to come, the early-childhood development center will send approximately 60 very well prepared kids to elementary school. These children will have the cognitive, emotional, and social capacities to succeed in elementary school and well beyond.Indeed, a healthy diet, comprehensive education,and harmonious home life during the first years of life are the building blocks for a successful adult.