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Niños de Papel

IVHQ Booster Grant Recipient - Niños de Papel
Niños de Papel - IVHQ Booster Grant

Project: Teaching
Program: Colombia - Cartagena

What do IVHQ volunteers do at this placement?
Niños de Papel serves as an orphanage as well as a community center for children and adolescents in Cartagena. Volunteers here take part in teaching English and playing sports with the students and can assist with small-scale renovation projects.

Who runs this placement?
Niños de Papel was established 23 years ago by Father Manolo Jimenez Tejerizo in response to the troubling number of children living on the streets in the Colombian city of Bucaramanga. Today, Niños de Papel is present in the cities of Bucaramanga, Monteria and Cartagena and is run by the regional manager, Dr. Angelica Maria Viana Mercado. The team works closely with Alvaro Henrique Perez Rodriguez, who is the child protection manager in Cartagena.

How will the IVHQ Booster Awards money be used to benefit this placement?
Niños de Papel is in the process of setting up a rehabilitation center for the local children and adolescents who suffer from drug abuse, and the Booster Awards money will provide a significant step forward in the completion of this project. This centre will give much needed specialized care to youth in the management and treatment of the problems related to the use of psychoactive substances. These youth are especially vulnerable to drug abuse as they come from disintegrated families, sexual abuse, abandonment and exploitation. This center will be especially helpful because it will not only focus on treatment and rehabilitation, but also prevention, thus helping youth before they fall deeply into drug abuse.

IVHQ Booster Grant - Niños de Papel

The project’s estimated cost is US$23,000, so the Booster Awards money of $5,000 will amount to almost 25% of the funding needed to bring about this project. The center currently has the required infrastructure and space needed, but is lacking basic resources such as beds, desks, and other materials in the diagnostic unit. This unit will be the gateway for youth to enter the rehabilitation centre and access medical and psychological attention. Any award money over $1,000 will be used to acquire resources needed for the program. Anything below $1,000 will be used towards the girls’ home, which there is a dire need for basic resources, such as fans, chairs, desks, and school supplies.

What is the long-term vision for this placement?
The long-term vision of Niños de Papel is to continue helping children in Bucaramanga, Monteria and Cartagena by carrying out different projects that help diminish poverty and social insecurity. The rehabilitation center's long-term goal is to become a self-sustainable entity that provides drug treatment and rehabilitation for the children and youth of Cartagena and the Caribbean coast. Once the program is completed and introduced to the public, it has the opportunity to become an Institucion Prestadora de Servicios Sociales (institution that provides healthcare services), and can then be wholly funded by the government. In other words, Niños de Papel would no longer rely on local clinics to help with the treatment and care of local youth, but provide all the treatment necessary themselves. This way Niños de Papel could bring about real and long-lasting change in the lives of children and adolescents impacted by drug abuse, poverty and sexual and physical abuse.

Niños de Papel - IVHQ Booster Grants

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