the resurgence of hope



Posted by cigarra-eng on March 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM




Nutritional Support

v In 2013, the Foundation opened a new program to serve adolescents between the ages of 14 through 17, which was called “Malala” in homage to the Pakistani adolescent Malala Yousafzai, a fighter for the girls right to education.

v With this new program, during 2013, 168 children were served, thus augmenting the figure from the previous year.

v Unlike previous years, this year very few desertions from boys and girls were presented, and the few open spots available, were quickly assigned again, once the withdrawal of the boy or girl was definitely confirmed. During this year, we timely followed up those children who were absent for several days by telephone monitoring, and this allowed us to take greater control of the children’s attendance and their family situation of each one, and eventually it became a tool for the retention of children.

v We continued managing the daily menus that guarantee a proper nutritional balance suitable for the children’s physical development. We continued with the same diet diagram: breakfast, 9:00 am snack, lunch, and 11:00 am snack.

v Throughout the year, the Foundation continued counting on the collaboration of some donors who support our work to provide animal protein (chicken, eggs, dairy products, beef, and tuna fish). We received non-perishable food from Colegio San Jorge de Inglaterra, as a result from the “March for a Pound of Food.” During this year, we continued providing milk every day of the week, and eggs three times a week to all the children.

v Dr. Cecilia Helena Montoya, our nutritionist, continued making assessment visits once a month by helping and monitoring those chronic undernourishment cases of the new boys and girls who were admitted to the Foundation. This work, supported by the teachers, continued taking the quarterly control of their size and weight.

v We received an important nutritional supplement donation for babies until two years old, and this was used to alleviate two children of the “Semillitas Room,” (nursery) who arrived to the foundation with a high advanced degree of undernourishment.

v As in the previous years, all the boys and girls, as well as the adolescents, showed increasing curves in their development. In the same way, Dr. Cecilia Helena Montoya developed a nutritional table for each child of the Foundation, which allowed us evidencing their growth progress.

v We continued to have the sponsorship of Sabores Siboney as a monthly donor of 40 kilos of fruit pulp.

v We took special care about the food’s expiration date, its organization, and location in the pantry.

v Several visits from Hospital de Vista Hermosa took place to verify that the sanitary conditions were in good standing, to which we were approved.

v In July 2013, an updated children nutritional workshop was held for all the staff of the Foundation, presented by Dr. Cecilia Helena Montoya, where all the main concepts in nutrition were revised again, and the updated biometric data for the Colombian population was revealed.

v In 2013, further progress was made in the expansion of the kitchen and dining room, which were not veneered, because we began the construction of a second level that we expect to complete in 2014. 

v Most of all the baking products offered to the children were produced in our own bakery (bread, biscuits, ring-shaped cake, flaky pastries, shortbread, etc.), and were prepared with ingredients of the highest quality.

v This year, we hired a new bursar for the kitchen.

Comprehensive Assistance


v Vaccination campaigns continued with Hospital de Vista Hermosa, and the work with the parents in the community increased to be on the alert for the vaccination schedule of their children, since the parents’ signature of informed consent was required in their registration card. As we have done it in previous years during the registration process, we required a current copy of their immunization ID card, so that the Foundation would be able to maintain control of this, and we co-worked with the hospital on this health issue.

v We continued to have the medical and psychosocial support of periodical visits from Hospital de Vista Hermosa.

v During 2013, we relied with the support of “Dentists without Borders,” who provided five brigades throughout the year and made the required oral treatments to the children who were in need. We continued to reinforce the toot brushing twice a day and the Foundation provided the toothbrushes and the dental paste.

v We continued to reinforce the hand wash habit to the children before eating and after using the bathroom.

v This year, Volver Foundation supported us with a visual health brigade where an ophthalmological check-up was performed to all the children of the Foundation, and free eyeglasses were provided to those who were in need of them.

v In February, a workshop on First Aid to assist the children was addressed to all the staff of the Foundation, led by a rescuer lady with related experience on this issue.



v This year we hired four new teachers, one for the San Jorge’s Room, one for the Nursery Room, one for the Walking Babies Room, and one for the Adolescent Program, who are certified in Early Childhood. As we have done it in the previous years, we procured hiring professional teaching staff as much as possible in order to comply with the current Law requirements.

v We continued using the pedagogical focus of Meaningful Learning and the teaching of affection for a healthy child development, complemented with the Piaget, Vigotsky and Bandura pedagogical approach. In this sense, we continued with the teacher training processes by having educational workshops and activities with the Foundation employees on the last Friday of each month.

v During the year, we provided several workshops about Code of Law on Children and Adolescents, Child Nutrition, Importance of Reading in Childhood, Children’s Literature, Recycling and Classification of Materials, Development of Child Thinking, and one session on Rumba Fitness.

v Educational bimonthly meetings of Cigarra's working team were conducted with the purpose of assessing the children’s progress and to also do a corresponding follow-up of those difficult cases.

v On the other hand, the Foundation’s work was reinforced with Cultural, educational, and recreational field trips to places such as t Simon Bolivar Park, Mundo Aventura, Panaca, Colegio San Jorge de Inglaterra, among others.

v This year we visited Colegio Jaime Quijano Caballero of the Universidad Incca of Colombia for “Language Day” where a Black Theater play was presented to the High School Students.

v The attaining of books and teaching materials for each room was increased.

v This year a computer course was taught to the children of San Jorge’s Room to reinforce their knowledge on this subject.

v In 2013, the collection and sale of recyclable materials became institutionalized in order to finance the Foundation activities. Last year, we programmed a trip to Cartagena by plane with the purpose for children between the ages of 7 through 14 to get to know the sea and to have the possibility of flying. This issue was considered as a classroom project with the children of San Jorge’s Room and it was through this, that everything related to the academic and the formation of values, such as responsibility and teamwork was dealt with.

v All the children, their parents and all the Foundation staff learned about the basic principles to recycle and the proper way to separate solid waste. This crosscutting activity throughout the year, allowed us to obtain important resources to partly finance the Cartagena trip. Avianca Airlines donated us twenty-five tickets as a result managed with its Department of Corporate Social Responsibility. Fifty children and fourteen teachers traveled to Cartagena.

v This year, we received the visit of several Psychology and Early Childhood Education student groups from the INCCA University of Colombia, who interacted with the children and had the possibility to directly experience the difficulties of life conditions in the children’s community.

v We also received the visit of several Environmental Engineering student groups from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, who donated us the micro soccer fields, and who supported our recycling and vegetable garden project.

v This year, we inaugurated our own toy library, space that counts with all the necessary elements for working with the children, which enable us to strengthen the issues of moral values and positive principles through artistic work. The children created handicrafts with foam and other recyclable materials as a form of occupational therapy.

v We continued working with children, teachers and parents in promoting our main institutional values of preventing sexual abuse and child abuse.

v We held two workshops with the Adolescent group. One on Sexual Education and the other on Life Project. We established space for fifteen adolescents for both school shifts (morning and afternoon), but it was finally consolidated to seven boys and seven girls.


v We continued promoting games as an important educational and formative tool for the children. The park and open field spaces were essential for the optimal physical and emotional development of our children, since they were able to run, jump, play, burn energy, and practice sports like soccer and basketball. Therefore, the recreational-sports space has been a very positive constructive component for the Foundation to have a “Healthy School.”

v This year we adopted a doe as a pet, which the children named “Lola.” The relationship with the little animal has enabled the children to develop their sense of responsibility and respect for other living beings. We counted with the services of a veterinarian doctor, who was in charge of frequently examining Lola, and to certify her health state.

v We conducted periodic Parents Meetings, not only to update them on their children's progress and difficulties, but also to inform them about other important issues such as balanced nutrition, assertive communication, self-esteem, prevention of sexual abuse and child abuse, considered as social intolerant behavior from the beginnings of the Foundation.

v We continued promoting amongst our teachers the importance of good interpersonal skills and the loving relationship with the children, the reinforcing of self-esteem and the importance of maintaining a good and open communication with the parents in order to work together.

v In April, we celebrated Childhood Day, and in October, Child’s Day with a special lunch, recreational activities and gifts.

v In May, we celebrated Mrs. Mary Allen’s birthday, who was one of our most important sponsors and the mother of our founder. The children performed alluding representations of the hen and the chickens.

v In September, we decorated the Foundation buildings, allusive to the “Month of Love and Friendship.” These values were fomented throughout the year and we worked on them. The Cultural Week also took place on this month, and it consisted of recreational, sportive, and artistic activities.

v In October, the Foundation buildings were decorated to celebrate Halloween. This year we received a large donation of costumes, which were used by some children, who did not own one.

v In December, we decorated the buildings and a Christmas tree, and created the Manger, so that the children could begin celebrating with us:

§  Our children participated in the Christmas Party organized by Colegio San Jorge de Inglaterra and received gifts.

·      Stanton Shoes donated to the Foundation new shoes for each child.

v Likewise, we received important donations in money, clothing, games, books, teaching materials, and food throughout the year.

Quality of Life

v This year, a multimedia and computing systems course was taught to the Community, to which our adolescents participated, who were certified by San Felipe Neri Foundation as they complied with all the hours required for the completion of the course.

v During the year, we conducted ten successful Community Wardrobe and Furniture Sale, about one per month. We were very fortunate to receive many donations such as clothes, basic home furnishings, and furniture in excellent condition for our neighborhood community to acquire them at low cost.

v We continued offering the parents to pay their children’s low monthly fees with monthly work in our Foundation.

v Likewise, the Foundation continued working together with the Community Action Council in the legalization process of the neighborhood Puertas del Paraíso.

v In conjunction with the Community, a project was established before Fundación Techo “Fontecho” for the pavement of 71Q Street from the avenue to the beginning of the stairway in front of Cigarra. The project was approved and the only thing pending was to finish laying the pavement. 

v In June, we received the visit of a U.S.A youth group, whose parents have donated money to contribute with our work. During this visit, they interacted with our children and they directly experienced the poverty conditions of the neighborhood.

v Throughout the year, several activities for raising funds took place:

   §  In February, we participated, as every year, in the bazaar organized by Colegio San Jorge de Inglaterra.

   §  In August, we carried out a raffle of a motorcycle.

   §  In September, we participated in a fund-raising party for Cigarra Foundation at Casa Babylon.

v In the beginning of the year, the Foundation served as intermediary between a construction company and a family from the neighborhood, who received a house as a donation, which undoubtedly improved their quality of life.

v This year, we continued working on training the children for evacuation in the event of an emergency. 

v In January, through approved Minutes, we established the Labor Harmony Committee for 2013.  

v As part of the Embellishment Program of the Foundation, we have planted new flowering plants and the garden has been maintained.



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