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Project information

Colombian NGOs become better able to help childre

Our two permanent Colombia-based Field Officers provide technical support on a range of issues, including governance, financial management, impact assessment and fundraising. Their accompaniment is crucial in fulfilling COTA’s aims and strengthening children’s organisations in Colombia.

January 2012 - December 2012

Charity information: Children of the Andes

Children of the Andes logo
  • Need


    For nearly 50 years, Colombia has been in the grip of a brutal and complex internal conflict between armed groups and the government. Children are the most vulnerable victims of this crisis. There are an estimated 30,000 street children, 2 million child workers, up to 14,000 child soldiers, and tens of child victims of landmines each year in Colombia. Millions more are unable to go to school, lack access to adequate healthcare and suffer from abuse, neglect and extreme poverty.


    COTA supports local projects which provide education, support vulnerable families, help make communities safer and help young people develop the skills and confidence they need to build independent and fulfilling lives.

    We support the children that need us most. They include street and working children, abused and exploited children, children displaced by the ongoing conflict and those living with disabilities or in poverty.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Help partner organisations which are reaching vulnerable children to be more effective & sustainable


    » Acting as a sounding board when partners are developing new projects or adjusting current ones
    » Providing formal training opportunities to partners, helping develop their skills & make their work effective
    » Facilitating connections and shared learning between its partners and with the wider NGO sector.
    » Monitoring the use of funds to ensure they are being used as effectively as possible

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing ongoing feedback through field office accompaniment and organising two learning-sharing meetings amongst our partners.

    Aim 2

    Help partners develop new projects that provide LONG-TERM benefits for vulnerable children


    » Providing “seed funding” which gives partners the flexibility and freedom to research and develop new areas of work
    » Providing financial support for consultation with stakeholders to make proposals more solid and effective
    » Researching issues affecting vulnerable children and investigating potential new areas of intervention.

    What success will look like

    Success will be identifying partners that contribute significantly to improving children’s lives in the long term, both through the specific projects & through their general work

    Aim 3

    Respond to the needs of partners, providing stability for their work & the children they support


    » Helping with unexpected circumstances – from delays in local funding to natural disasters – making sure the work of our partners is safeguarded.
    » Responding to unforeseen needs –eg additional resources to run more workshops if the ones that it has set up are popular.

    What success will look like

    Success will be identifying situations where partners have unforeseen needs and responding to them to ensure their work is not threatened.

  • Impact


    COTA invests in issues that are having a wide-spread impact on vulnerable children but are relatively neglected.

    We will prioritise projects that provide long-term benefits for children.

    We will contribute to strengthen the voluntary sector working with vulnerable children in Colombia by supporting our partners to become stronger organisations, better able to support increased numbers of vulnerable children in the long term.


    There is a risk that COTA cannot raise enough funding to invest in research of new areas of work. We have dealt with this risk by ensuring we and our partners are tapping into existing networks (to benefit from lessons learnt by others) and by designing a fundraising strategy that shows donors the importance of investing in the necessary ground work to ensure long term changes are achieved through our investment.


    Donors will be kept up to date through COTA’s blog and its newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £78,116

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,035 Field Office Premises Rent, Utilities, IT, Insurance, Bank Charges, Colombian Tax (4x1000)
      £6,315 Monitoring & Capacity Building Partner Networking, Child Protection and Financial Managment Training, Transportation, Accomodation
      £62,766 Field Office Staff Costs - 2.5 Two Field Officers and Part Time Admin Assistant

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Comic Relief £6,779 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Around half of all Colombian people live in poverty, struggling to survive on the margins of a desperately unequal society.

    Colombia’s ongoing internal conflict has led to it having the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world.

    Until 2009, Colombia had more landmine victims than any other country, and it still has one of the highest numbers of victims in the world. Children are the hardest hit by these difficulties, especially marginalised groups.


    At least 3,000 vulnerable children affected by poverty, violence, neglect and exploitation will be the key beneficiaries of this work next year. On top of this, children’s families, those working with children and the wider community will also benefit.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    COTA has been working exclusively in Colombia for 20 years. Over this time, we have developed good relationships with numerous organisations, working at the forefront of issues affecting children’s rights and their development.

    Since 2005, we have had a permanent presence in Colombia. We are now even more in touch with the changing issues and policy environment that affect vulnerable children - and are even better placed to make a difference.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Duncan Millar

    He oversees our partnerships with Colombian organisations, and line manages our two Colombia-based Field Officers.

    Barbara Inglin

    She oversees the running of the Cali Field Office and is directly responsible for accompanying and monitoring partner projects.

    Gina Ortiz

    She oversees the running of the Bogota Field Office and is directly responsible for accompanying and monitoring partner projects.

    Johanna Gaviria

    She manages the Field Offices' finance and admin (from Cali), enabling our field officers to focus on supporting the projects and our partner NGOs.