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: Graduation day in Mocoa
At the end of our day in Putumayo's capital, we stopped by a graduation celebration of sorts. More than 30 people displaced by the armed conflict were marking the end of an 80-hour course in gastronomy with food, music and a dip in the river.
Colombia: Video: Gender-based violence workshop, Colombia
Colombia: Video: Asana Ipiales
In Colombia, Mercy Corps uses sports as a way to teach youth values such as teamwork and respect. At the beginning and end of each session, the youth do yoga poses to help them relax and concentrate.
Colombia: Video: ¡Vivo Jugando!
Young people in the southern Colombian city of Ipiales are learning respect for each other through Mercy Corps' sports for change program, "Vivo Jugando." It's part of our effort to prevent gender-based violence, a growing concern in a region severely affected by the country's armed conflict.
Colombia: Displaced but not disempowered
Colombia: A marginalized culture moves closer to gaining its own power
A micro-hydroelectric energy project is making a difference for one of Colombia's most isolated and marginalized ethnic groups.
Colombia: Video: Kids enjoy peace for one day in Santander
The kids from our southern Santander, Colombia alternative classrooms are rural poor: their parents work their small plots of land, too often sacrificing their kids' education for help with crops and chores.
Colombia: Shipping Clothing to Colombia's Landmine Victims
Landmines don't choose their victims. Most people who set one off escape with their lives, but suffer permanently disabling injuries. And in Colombia's impoverished countryside — home to one of the highest concentrations of landmines in the world — survivors have few places to turn for help.
Colombia: Tools for life
As I stand over a particularly energetic fifth grade boy to keep him from kicking the girl next to him, I’m amazed: they’re actually quiet. And still — for the most part. These five minutes of stillness could be the most important gift that these kids have received all week.
Colombia: Building children's confidence through sport
I am a Material Aid Officer with Mercy Corps – which means I work with massive (truckload sized-quantities) donations of product. The donated materials my team works with run the gamut: from computers to textbooks to sports equipment to pharmaceuticals.