Colombia

A GAME LIBRARY NETWORK
TO FIGHT VIOLENCE AND MISERY

Context

The conflict in Colombia has led to 5,7 million displaced. Most of them farmers, the villagers have moved to the cities (Bogotá has consequently seen its population increase from 5 to 10 million inhabitants); 80% of these families live in these crowded miserable neighbourhoods called “of invasion” where poverty, drugs and criminality have engendered a severe violence that swoops down on families ; children are the first victims.

Mission Enfance has been acting against the violence imposed on children, in Bogota and other regions of Colombia through the implantation of “toy and game libraries”. In twenty years, the association has created a network of 7 centres, concentrating on the problems encountered by the children: violence in Santa Marta and la Uvita, racial denigration in the Choco region, towards the Afrodescendientes, descendants of the African slaves at the time of the conquistadors; Neglect and poverty of Indians of Amazonia in Letitia. A new toy and game library has been created in Yopal, in partnership with the company Perenco.

Our project in 2017

In Ciudad Bolivar, Bogota’s shanty-town suburb, Mission Enfance has created and supported 19 years ago, a toy and game library that welcomes more than a thousand children each month. This project is carried out under the direction and control of our local coordinator, Françoise Bardon. Each child is under the care of animators who are to help them evacuate the daily violence lived within the family. A radio station, a newspaper and football games will be organized in order to attract young people around 13 years old, out in the streets. Ciudad Bolivar functions since 2016 with 6 people (1 librarian, 2 game librarians, 1 coordinator, 2 guardian, and 1 cleaning lady). Three years ago an education support programme was set and two years ago a game library was equipped to welcome toddlers and their parents.

On our entire 7 game library network in Colombia, we support the running costs (main librarians’ wages, toys equipment, fitting work) except for the Yopal library, fully financed by French company Perenco. This year also, in order to optimize our work, we employ all of the game librarians of each of our centres. The Municipalities finance the other staff members.

Parters

French Company Perenco : Totality of Yopal game library functioning costs taken on. Les Municipalités et gouvernorats de Colombie participent à l’action, par un apport de personnel rémunéré, un apport de lieux ou de dotations de jouets (non inclus dans le budget de Mission Enfance).

 

Mission Enfance is sole carrier and project manager, via its local association Mission Paraiso. It insures 90 % of the project.

Beneficiaries : 11.071 children attending the libraries

Septembre/Octobre 2014 : Some photos taken during the Art Therapy mission lead by Sophie Geider towards the children of our game and toy library.