Though one of the poorest sectors of Medellín, Colombia with a history of multiple outbreaks of violence, Comuna 13 is undergoing a radical transformation. SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT.Despite the transformation, youth and teens are still at risk. According to the system of student enrollment (SIMAT in Spanish), 90,6% of kids in Medellin go to school read more about this, but educational opportunities and facilities are still severely limited. Moreover, there is a dearth of safe and accessible afterschool programming. For children and teens whose parents and guardians work until late, these unsupervised hours render them vulnerable. Children in this position often get involved with groups of individuals that engage in activities that can be harmful to the children´s future and even put their lives in danger.
At Insiders Foundation, we believe that we can change the conditions of risk for vulnerable youth and teens in Comuna 13.We want to build a volunteer-run youth community center. The center would be a safe place where teens can pass time while their parents are not at home and offer programming in foreign languages, music, painting, and other arts. We will start with 30 students but we won't stop there we will add 70 more students in the next two years.
However, our project is more than just a community center. We want to offer the teens of Comuna 13 a connection with people from around the world. To that end, the project consists of two parts, the first being the community center, and the second a hostel for international volunteers. Visitors to Medellín could access affordable accommodations in exchange for leading a program for the neighborhood’s youths. Programs would range between 3 months and 1 year in length and are subject to revision by Insiders Foundation.