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Volunteers Abroad

Colombia: Hope for the Kids

New Country. New home. New job. New language. New friends. New transport system. New challenges. And new experiences…

Yeah, pretty much everything here in Bogotá is new to me.

My first week in Colombia has already passed, and it has been quite overwhelming. Overwhelming because of the huge differences. And overwhelming because I have experienced so much and learned so much in so little time.

But in this first blog post, I would like to tell you a bit about why I am even sitting in Colombia right now. I want to tell you about the mission that I am on – about my AIESEC project. I started working as a volunteer for a NGO called “Fundación Dando con el Corazón”. It is a NGO that helps kids from the streets get a better life. The kids live at the foundation where they have their own beds, proper food and classes in Spanish, mathematics and English. They are surrounded by adults who care about them and give them the attention and affection that they have never got from anywhere else.

Right now the foundation has 14 kids aged between 9 months and 12 years old. They have very different backgrounds; some are kids of sex workers, some of drug addicts and some of homeless people.

During my first week I have got to know the kids that I am trying to help here. My heart melted the first time I met them. So much eagerness, warmth, energy and hope. They were jumping around me asking me a thousand questions. This curiosity, this energy, did not only surprise me – it also made me feel hopeful. Just a few months ago, many of these kids had been in the streets. They had been in terrible conditions. Dirty, hungry or without any of the adult affection that any kid should have.

Seeing the kids, you do not doubt for a second what a big difference the foundation does. And I am not doubting for a second that these kids will develop to be great citizens of their country. They will pull Colombia in the right direction. They have a broader perspective than most people, and they have overcome challenges that one cannot even imagine.

It is hard for me to understand where the strength of these kids comes from. But they remind me what human is actually capable of. They remind me that there are almost not the challenges that we cannot overcome when we have the will to do it.

These kids are an inspiration and the foster hope in me – and hopefully in many Colombians.

I am in charge of helping the foundation with their marketing strategy, fundraising and project development, and I really hope that by doing this, I can help these – and many other – kids. Because even if the NGO is doing a great job helping these kids, they have some organizational challenges. They need a viable, sustainable plan. A plan that enables them to help the kids not just today – but also tomorrow and in years from now.

I hope I can help promote the organization both here in Colombia and internationally. There is a need for more awareness and understanding. There is a need for action to be taken.

Written by
Mie Hoejris Dahl
Mie is 22 years old and studies International Business and Politics at CBS. Besides, Mie works as a political assistant at the Danish parliament. Mie has travelled a lot, and she is now working as a volunteer through AIESEC.