Meeting Immediate Needs

Friends of Colombia organizes fundraisers to support urgent projects developed by current PCVs, RPCVs, and our friends in Colombia. The success of these projects largely relies on the generosity of our members. Learn more about the our past fundraising initiatives below: 

Comics for a Cause: A Visual Storytelling Workshop

Community Partners: Domino Volunteers and Café Stepping Stone 

Funds donated: $2,405 

Results: Awarded 13 small grants to artists in Cartagena, Bolivar

To fight the spread of COVID-19, the Colombian government implemented strict city-wide lockdowns. These lockdowns effectively shut down the country’s tourism industry with devastating impact to cities like Cartagena. Large swaths of Cartagena’s population have lost income, including those who contribute to the city’s thriving arts scene. Many artists are now struggling to make ends meet.

In an effort to help artists and the city’s art industry, Friends of Colombia partnered with two Cartagena-based organizations, Domino Volunteers and Café Stepping Stone, to provide small grants to artists and craftsmen from marginalized neighborhoods who are struggling to continue their operations. To raise funds for artists in Cartagena, talented artist and FOC Member Sarah Shaw organized a visual storytelling workshop where she was able to share her love of storytelling, illustration, and autobiographical comics with participants in an online minicomics workshop.

After an application and selection process, micro-grants were distributed funds to the following artistic entrepreneurs in Cartagena:
  • Batambora and Corporación Cultural Kilele Son for materials for African drums (see thank you video below)
  • ICAFE for new lights and camera to film their dance group
  • NINHA and Tu_La for materials to make reusable bags
  • Creativox for a new computer for graphic design
  • FURAS for materials and packaging of their products
  • Paint supplies for local artists and art studios:

Cooking with Care #2

Community Partners: La Mesa de Víctimas

Funds donated: $3,822

Results: 238 mercaditos (grocery packages) delivered to families in the lower and middle zones of the Montes de María, Bolivar

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect and kill people around the globe, vulnerable communities in lockdown continue to struggle with food shortages and food insecurity, especially in Colombia. The global pandemic has hit communities in the lower and middle zones of Montes de María, Bolivar particularly hard. COVID-19 reached this region at the end of the dry season when water and food stores are at their absolute lowest and families are in dire need to food support.

In an effort to support these families, Friends of Colombia partnered with La Mesa de Víctimas, a local advocacy organization that works with community leaders from rural pueblos in the region. Our partners advocated for food assistance for the Region, but so far that aid has only reached urban centers, leaving the most vulnerable families and communities in need of immediate assistance. To raise funds for La Mesa de Víctimas, FOC members, Chef Carmen Galvis and Chef Jeremy Booth, led a virtual cooking class where they taught us how to make Buñuelitos de Cabezitas Negras (Baked Black-Eyed Pea Fritters) with Ají (dipping sauce).

Cooking with Care

Community Partners: Server de Corazón

Funds donated: $3,015

Results: 240 mercaditos (grocery packages) delivered to families outside of Lorica, Córdoba

The COVID-19 pandemic and government-mandated lockdowns in Colombia have left many vulnerable families in dire conditions. Food insecurity has become a major issue for many communities as Colombia’s lockdown continues. Although the Colombian government has made efforts to provide small stimulus deposits into bank accounts, many people have not received this support. In the outskirts of Santa Cruz de Lorica, a quiet fishing village in the Córdoba Department, countless families have been forgotten entirely.  

In an effort to support these families, Friends of Colombia partnered with Server de Corazón, a small community organization that took on the mission of purchasing and delivering food and supplies to families in the remote towns surrounding Lorica. To raise funds for Server de Corazón, two FOC members, Chef Carmen Galvis and Chef Jeremy Booth, led a virtual cooking class where they taught us how to make arroz con pollo (or arroz con verduras).