In Cartagena de Indias, we have provided training to 95 women who are education agents of the Community Homes of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare. Each of these mothers is responsible for about 10 children, aged 10 months to 5 years, who come from vulnerable families.

Community homes form a fundamental protective environment for these minors, and the objective of the training is for these mothers to be able to recognize and identify sexual violence inflicted on children. They are also able to enhance their knowledge of the psychological effects on victims, as well as the protocol and the Care Procedure that they must follow upon detecting a possible case of sexual violence inside or outside the Homes.

Protecting children from violence and abuse

In addition to the problems of structural poverty and violence are those that have to do with the health crisis brought about by the coronavirus: in Cartagena, there are currently 19,689 cases and 513 deaths. This situation is triggering a socio-economic emergency as families have no financial resources to meet their basic needs, and the risk of domestic violence is greater, as domestic violence reports during the quarantine period have increased.

Our Protect project works in school environments with teachers, parents, and students to strengthen their abilities to prevent, identify, and act in cases of abuse, including those perpetrated through social networks. Our Ciberprotect program makes young users aware of the dangers their inappropriate use of online resources may entail.

Community Mothers

Community mothers or fathers are responsible for early childhood care as part of the Community Homes program of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (day homes). They are recognized in their community for their solidarity, coexistence, and commitment to the development of children and their families. At present, there are 69,000 Community Mothers in Colombia serving 1,077,000 children in the community form of early education.

Image: Training in the prevention of sexual violence of community mothers from the Colombian ICBF Homes. (Global Humanitaria)