The low quality of education in Colombia is paralleled by an increase in social problems among children and young people; problems such as drug abuse, crime and dropping out of school. The latter is, among others, caused by the aggressive behaviour of students within the schools which often ends in bullying and keeps the young victims away from school. The program, funded among others by the Limmat Foundation, designs educational projects aimed at keeping children from becoming bullies and school dropouts.
This project aims to improve the academic performance, living conditions and career prospects of children and youth. The project supports a tutoring program in different educational institutions that links high school students and elementary school children. As tutors, the high schoolers foster the successful academic and social development of the younger students from the same school. The young adults receive appropriate training for this responsible task. The program also involves the children’s principals, guidance counsellors, teachers and families.
The results of this offer are very positive. Children’s academic performance and their readiness to learn have improved. In addition, absenteeism has decreased, as has the propensity for violence. Likewise, the youth are more optimistic about their future after participating in the program. Initially, the programme was implemented by the iwoka team only in educational institutions in Pereira. Meanwhile, schools in Medellin are receiving training to apply the programme by themselves. Expansion to other cities is planned. Talks are already taking place with educational institutions in Bogotá.