The Social Services group operates by meeting on a monthly basis. Each of the foundations we support is paid an unannounced visit to check on the status of the foundation and its facilities and that it is operating within its mandate. All our activities, events and any money raised through these, together with our annual membership fees, go towards meeting our yearly commitment to each foundation.
Many of these charities were started by AWC members years ago.
Below is a summary of the foundations that the AWC supports, with a short description of each.
Volunteers are welcome. Please feel free to contact each organization directly. If you’d prefer to volunteer with a group of AWC members, please complete the online application and Mary Tracy, our volunteer coordinator, will contact you shortly.
Associación Barranquilla de Caridad
This is a weekly boarding home for girls. Currently there are 40 girls in the home and they are at full capacity. The girls attend the public schools in the area and are able to go home to their families during the weekend. This foundation was started in 1960 by a group of women from Barranquillla whose husbands were working in Bogota and their wives wanted to give back to the community. The AWC provides powdered milk on a monthly basis for all the girls.
Casa de la Esperanza
This is a home for mentally challenged adult women. Currently there are 58 residents and it is run by an order of Catholic nuns. The AWC provides milk and groceries on a monthly basis for the residents.
Fundación Amigos de Jesús y María
This is a preschool for 109 children from 2 to 5 years old, all from the area, in a very challenging and poor neighborhood. Preschool education for these children is essential, as is the nutrition they receive every day. Many of the children do not have food waiting for them at home. Most of the teachers are from the area and have been certified in preschool education. Friends from a prayer group started helping out in this neighborhood in the 90’s with used clothing they collected and saw a great need for a safe place for the youngest, often left in the hands of older siblings, many of whom were left on their own during the day. When the children reach school age, they attend public school in the area. This preschool has been given the highest rating possible by the City Education Dept. The AWC provides milk, groceries and some scholarships on a monthly basis. We gave the children in this facility a Christmas party last in 2014. Every child also received a sweatsuit at the party.
Fundación el Sol de los Andes
Like a Ronald McDonald house. Its room and board in Bogotá for children and one parent may stay while the child is receiving their cancer treatment in the city. We collect bottle caps for them. Have plastic bottle caps to donate? Please contact Patricia Sicard at email@example.com, 313 391 0436.
This is a day boarding school for children and young people with Downs Syndrome and other handicaps. For many needy families, the cost of caring for a special needs child is prohibitive and many parents both work and are unable to care for them. This institution provides the answer for many, as well as education not only for the child but for the families, to understand their children and to love and accept them as they are. The AWC provides scholarship money.
FUNDACION FE, located at Cra 59B #129-45 is also interested in help from volunteers. This foundation provides therapy to children and adults with cognitive disability and downs’ syndrome. A lot of mothers spend the whole day at this foundation while their children are undergoing therapy. It would be nice if there were some volunteers to lead classes in English, cooking, yoga or exercise. If anyone is interested, please call Sandra Galan at 287-6600.
Hogar de la Niña de Veracruz
This is a primary school started by an Italian priest and community of nuns in the Candelaria district of Bogota. 6 days a week boarding is supplied for 50 of the most needy girls. Our Melting Pot group raises money from AWC members to take the girls on an outing once a year and buy them uniforms or dresses and shoes. We also provide powdered milk to the foundation.
Hogar San Miguel
This is a home for adolescents boys between the ages of 11 and 17. There are currently 20 boys residing here and the AWC provides milk and groceries on a monthly basis. This was one of the organisations that we chose to give a Christmas party to in 2014. Members of the Social Services group brought gifts and food to the home to celebrate an early Christmas for the boys during November as they attend schools which adheres to the traditional Colombian school calendar.
Hogar San Rafael Carrera
This is a home for senior citizens run by an order of Catholic Nuns. There are 2 sections – one for people who can afford to pay and the other for those who cannot.
The AWC provides powdered milk on a monthly basis for the 105 needy residents.
Jardín-Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario San Cipriano
A preschool and grade school for 220 children. All the children receive 50% of the cost as a scholarship, with 25 receiving a full scholarship. The foundation was started by the alumni of the Marymount School for Girls in Bogota. The children receive a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack provided with the support of the AWC. There is a school store that sells small sundries and used clothing, etc. to help with funding. Upon graduating from 5th grade, the children go on to public schools in their neighborhood. The AWC provides milk, groceries and scholarships on a monthly basis.
OPNI – Organización Pro Niña Indefensa
Founded in 1974, OPNI takes in homeless girls, those living on the street and girls youfind themselves in precarious positions. Many of whom have been living hand to mouth and in difficult situations. This foundation re-educates the girls and offers them a safe environment, often having to treat them for addictions developed while living on the streets. OPNI has an intake facility in the center of Bogota and a boarding facility in Guascas, past the Sopo Valley. The foundation provides all food, education and psychological help while it prepares the girls for re-entry into society. There are currently 49 girls in Guascas, which holds 60, but the holidays were difficult and some left. There are 17 at the facility in Bogota and they receive girls from 11 to 17 years of age. Not all are orphans.
Parapléjicos No Pensionados
This foundation was started by a member of the AWC many years ago, who then was transferred. There are 10 paraplegic adults that live in and another 6 that sleep out. This group of elderly people receives no pensions or means of support from the State and live in a house next to a seniors home in the center of Bogota. Their needs are many and we are the only organization that helps with funds. They make bracelets and small crafts to help out with their necessities. The AWC provides milk, groceries, their medical supplies and medicines.
Their present needs:
They would love to have board games to play. They need to constantly buy new batteries for their wheelchairs at a cost of $800 000 each. Also these batteries last for only a few hours at a time, then run out, so new ones would be appreciated. Each electric wheelchair costs $5 000 000 and they are in dire need as some residents are injuring their hands whilst self pushing the wheels of their old wheelchairs. They are in urgent need of a technician to maintain their wheelchairs. They are in dire need of a refrigerator as theirs is about 20 years old! Books on crafts and jewelry making would be very useful too. They get very cold at night so winter sheets and blankets to warm them at night would be a special treat. They would love to have visitors! Pop in to say hello and take them a treat! If anyone is interested, please call William (featured in the picture above) directly at 314-313-3625. He would love to hear from you.
Our AWC member Cindy Pereira runs APNOP, they are sincerely grateful for all the AWC support received over the years and wish to express that we are continuously in their prayers. Would you like to volunteer with APNOP? If so please call: 310 227-2043, 348-4094, especially those of you who have any practice in art/painting/sculpting, psychology, sewing, jewelry making and project management.
Proyecto de Vida
This foundation runs 3 Community Centers with dining rooms, located in Soacha, Ciudad Bolivar and Usaquen. They work with approximately 550 boys and girls from 5 to 16 years of age in the 3 locations, who benefit from supervision and attention in the hours that they are not in school. Most of the children who attend public school in Bogota go only a half day, either in the morning or the afternoon. The centers are a safe haven for the children when not in school. The AWC provides powdered milk on a monthly basis for all the children.
Victorine le Dieu
This home was started by the Spanish Priest in 2001 and takes care of 18 senior citizens, many of whom are terminally ill and who would be homeless but for the kindness of Father Ortega. There is also a 24 year old paraplegic resident and another 24 year old with severe disabilities. The AWC provides milk and groceries on a monthly basis for the residents.