FCU (Fundación Creciendo Unidos)

Created in 1986, FCU is currently based in seven locations throughout Colombia: five in Bogotá, one in Cúcuta (in the Norte region of Santander); and one in the Choco (a región populated by indigenous and Afro-indigenous communities).

In total, FCU helps more than 400 displaced Colombian children by making charitable use of Crowdsurfing funds. Each euro/dollar/peso donated allows us to carry out FCU’s children’s projects. These projects help families provide food, education, and a vital respite from the difficult everyday turmoil in the Caracolí neighborhood, of Bogota, Colombia.

Among these projects are learning workshops for unemployed/unskilled young people such as: bread making, clothing making, fashion design, computer maintenance, wood crafts, and paintings. These workshops help provide young people (sometimes adults) with marketable skills and their wears are then sold. This in turn, brings in money which is reinvested in the community.

The foundation proposes reinforcement classes in homework, English, mathematics, etc … (thanks to Colombian and foreign volunteers) to compensate for the important delay of the Children of Caracolí and other sectors.

The needs of this community are great. These displaced children have a psycho-social impairments, due to rape, family violence, permanent unhealthiness and the immense changes between their lives in the countryside and their lives to the city.

Another role of the foundation today is the distribution of food. Particularly in the Caracolí neighborhood, where the foundation is called «Comedor» («the dining room») by locals. This is necessary because the majority of families in the community have an income below the Colombian minimum wage, which is $200. This is barely enough to feed their children, with potatoes, rice or yucca. That is why many suffer from nutritional deficiencies, which the foundation tries to address by giving these families a cooked, nutritious, and sanitary lunch every day.

Help them to move forward:

Hopefully, these photos and brief summary of the situation help explain the need to assist this community. FCU is very aware of and committed to improving the welfare and safety of the people of the Caracolí neighborhood, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting this community by providing a donation.

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The Neighborhood

The Caracolí neighborhood is located in southern Bogota, far from the economic center of the city, even so it’s one of the most populated and poorest neighborhoods in Bogota .

Ciudad Bolívar itself is a very recent town where one million people live. The population consists mainly of the displaced poor who fled the countryside because of civil war and to escape from paramilitaries / the armed revolutionary groups.

These displaced peoples comprise part of the roughly five million refugees in Bogotá (whose total population is nine million).

The patriarchs of the families have often been murdered and the remaining members leave their homes to try to find peace in the giant capital city.

The difficult to reach neighborhood is high, in the hills of the city. The bus does not reach the foundation and the inhabitants usually lose 4 hours of transport every day to go to work in the center. These areas have a high risk of collapse, due to heavy rains and soil instability. Further due to the lack of space, a part of the inhabitants have to build their accommodation in illegal «invasion zones». He inhabitants are not authorized to build their houses in brick, and they fear every day that the police will expel them or that the ground itself will fall.

The Community Bakery

The money raised will be used to build a community bakery where local children will learn the craft of baking. In this community, where children have limited prospects, learning a trade offers another perspective of life for the future of these young people, away from vice and violence, helping them to become free and autonomous persons.

The funds collected will be used for the purchase of bakery equipment (ovens, etc.), the price of gas and raw materials for one year (flour, eggs, etc.), as well as the salary of the teacher who will take care of educate young people in the bakery trade for a year.