Bogota, Colombia is a capital city filled with commerce and tourism. But, just outside the city center exists a noticeable contrast in housing and economic development where the poorest families reside. Many of the city’s poorest families live on the outskirts in the mountains, and they have very difficult commutes into the city center for work. Without daycare, many of the young parents would not be able to earn an income to support their families.
Fe y Alegria, a Jesuit network of organizations helping the disadvantaged and poor since 1955, has preschools within this community offering free services to children up to 5 years of age. These services include: monitoring and evaluating the child’s development, nutritional supplementation and home interventions when needed.
The administrator of the preschool feeds the children three nutritious meals per day. Although it doesn’t sound like a huge accomplishment, she does this on just $1 (one US dollar) per day per student. It is truly amazing and the facility is a vital part of this community in Bogota.
Children go into groups by age. At the school I visited each “class” had a theme, for example there was one room where the children had a construction worker theme. The children dressed as construction workers learned to spend a day as a construction worker, working together to build, solve puzzles and improve coordination and communication skills. There were also spaces for children to be marine biologists or photographers.
Magis Americas is a proud sponsor of Fe y Alegria International.