Fighting among non-government forces, drug traffickers and the military has created the largest population of internally-displaced people outside Syria — at least six million. More than a third of Colombia’s population lives below the poverty line and the country has one of the worst income inequality rates in the world.
- Children & Youth: Protecting the rights of children and youth afflicted by conflict and abuse. Providing emotional care, alternative education and critical-thinking skills to help young people close the cycle of violence and thrive.
- Emergency response: Distributing emergency supplies to families displaced by conflict and disaster, and providing them with income-generation skills to help them rebuild. Increasing the capacity of local government to provide humanitarian assistance.
- Agriculture & Food: Helping rural farmers secure land, improve water and land management, increase the availability of nutritious food for their families and lift themselves out of poverty.
Colombia: NPR discusses second chances for child soldiers
Peace talks are in progress, but the FARC continues to recruit young people to their front lines. Our Country Director in Colombia talks about the plight of child soliders and our efforts to help those who escape build new lives.
Colombia: The war on child soldier recruitment begins at school
Last month was especially busy as I organized field visits to our child soldier prevention and reintegration program.
Colombia: Reclaiming children of war
As many as 14,000 children are fighting in Colombia's armed conflict. Each year, hundreds are rescued or escape — but it's too risky to return home. Mercy Corps is helping them start over.
Colombia: Helping fellow soldiers back from battle: Adriana's fresh start
Helping former child soldiers rejoin society is familiar territory for Adriana. She was raised by her uncle in a small village where armed insurgents operated openly.
Colombia: Trekking to see flood recovery efforts
I just returned from a trip to Colombia where, instead of sitting behind a computer, I sat in planes, taxis, boats, vans, dugout canoes and on horseback — in one day.
Colombia: Capture or surrender earns second chance
Child soldiers in Colombia escape the front lines one of two ways: by turning themselves in, or being rescued in battle. Most come from the countryside, where schools and jobs are scarce, and join an armed group as a way to escape poverty.
Colombia: Picturing yesterday, today and tomorrow
Former child soldiers in Colombia created these drawings as part of our program that helps them reintegrate into society after fighting in illegal armed groups.
Colombia: Stronger communities in the wake of flooding
Wilfran Zamora Nieto used to spend his days tending field of yucca, cotton, lettuce, radishes, cilantro and onions.
Colombia: Armed for a new life
Six weeks ago, 16-year-old Juliana was fighting for the guerrillas in the Colombian countryside. Today she's one of 29 teenage ex-combatants living in a residential neighborhood of Cali, the country's third-largest city, learning how to get her life back on track.
Colombia: Flood relief fueled by Seattle Sounders
With the combination of a broken levee and a rainy season that brought four times the average rainfall, the flooding in Colombia in 2010 reached far and wide. In the southern part of the Atlántico department on the Caribbean coast, Campo de la Cruz was completely submerged under water.