CCF recently finished supporting our wonderful partner in Colombia to implement its project ‘Bambu’ in Bogota. This project was named after the strength and resilience of the bamboo plant.

The project had a number of components that enabled it to support the whole social reintegration of the former child soldiers in a sustainable way. It helped 240 former child soldiers to develop the skills and strengths that allow them to establish lives outside the illegal armed groups. These children’s formative years have often been in the armed forces, so they are unaware of their rights or even how to form friendships and relationships outside of the conflict. Our partner taught the former child soldiers about human rights, and used psychosocial and artistic workshops to help alleviate the suffering of the children and assist them in dealing with the trauma they experienced during the war. This enabled the children to lead productive lives away from the conflict.

The project also strengthened the connections of the former child soldiers with social networks, such as their foster families, who the children live with after they come out of the war. Our partner trained 40 foster mothers in appropriately caring for the former child soldiers. Our partner also capitalised on its significant experience providing psychosocial support to children through training the professionals responsible for overseeing the children. These professionals included government officials, teachers, and education representatives, who were trained to understand the psychosocial needs of the former child soldiers.

You can help these former child soldiers reintegrate into society by donating to projects like this. Colombian Children’s Foundation Australia Limited partners with the World Relief Overseas Aid Fund by acting as its agent for fundraising and the delivery of relief and development projects in developing countries. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.