How to Volunteer and Help Local Communities in Medellín
Have you ever thought about giving back to the community you are visiting? We all know that Medellin is a city that offers parties, restaurants, fun and so on, however the sheer social inequality of this city is on our faces every single day, so we are describing below our top 3 volunteer projects and also a listings other projects and foundations in the city.
As many people know, Colombia is a country that has emerged from a past defined by violence and drugs. While it is true that things have changed drastically in recent years, it is also true that communities, especially the most disadvantaged ones, continue to be affected by the remnants of what the conflict left behind.
Local Foundations and Volunteer Projects
If you want to contribute and experience a completely different and immersive experience in the local culture, volunteer projects and foundations are a great alternative to give back and to explore the very-often forgotten side of reality.
Whether you want to volunteer or simply make a contribution, multiple foundations and volunteer projects work daily to generate an impact on today’s society. We invite you to know some of them.
1. Children of Medellín
This is more than another volunteer projects, it is actually a foundation promotes education through sports, recreational, educational, and cultural activities in Bello Oriente, one of the poorest (and very likely, the highest) neighborhoods in Medellín.
With their extensive program, they seek to encourage kids and teenagers to pursue education after high school and to create new opportunities, breaking the vicious circle of poverty. As education is the main priority of the foundation, kids must be enrolled in school to participate in any of the activities.
They work with children between the ages of 5 and 24, most of whom come from families displaced by violence or Venezuelan refugees. They offer them activities such as dance and music groups, reading, writing and English classes, workshops, and more.
How can I help?
- Don’t hesitate to contact them if you are interested in volunteering for two months or more.
- They are always open to new ideas! Photographers, artists, and other volunteers with ideas to make an impact in one day are always welcome.
Whatsapp: Sabine (+57 314 8176185)
2. Embera Bead Project
“Fighting poverty one bead at a time” is what the Embera Bead Project aims to achieve. This project works with Embera indigenous people who fled their villages due to armed conflicts and live as internally displaced persons throughout the city.
Embera families tend to struggle to meet their basic needs due to their lack of formalized education and inability to speak Spanish. The project seeks to reduce the risks they are exposed to through work, providing them with money to meet their basic needs.
Alongside the Reincorporated NFP and Sueños y Huellas Del Mañana, The Embera Bead Project opened Casa Embera, a safe space for the community to assemble their jewelry. The house has after-school children’s programs, adult personal and professional development classes, fair trade workshops, and nutritional and medical assistance.
At Real City Tours we like supporting the Embera Bead Project by introducing participants of our free walking tour to Emebera artisans, so travelers can support families through their purchases. Over the past years, this support has helped displaced Emebera families to supply much-needed necessities.
How can I help?
- Buy jewelry from Embera artisans at the full asking price! Your purchases help them support their family here in Medellin. You can always find them, right below of the Metro station San Antonio. They always stay by the Public Toilets.
- Book the free walking city tour with us. At the end of the tour we will introduce you to the indigenous and their work.
- Donate! If you want to support The Embera Bead Project and our efforts within Casa Embera, click here.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, and spread the word!
3. Sembrando Paz y Esperanza
The Foundation Sembrando Paz y Esperanza is a volunteer projects that provides safe spaces for children and families who come from low-income neighborhoods. Their work focuses on four main pillars: sports, education, food, and love.
The foundation seeks to keep children away from the dangers of the street, be it drugs, prostitution, or violence. Through their talks about honesty, respect, and love, they promote spaces in which children can develop properly.
The foundation has a sports court and a small space equipped with everything necessary for childcare. They have a library and computers so children can access English classes. More than 70 volunteers have helped over 350 kids and families, and these numbers keep growing.
How can I help?
- We are constantly looking for new volunteers! Contact us if you’re interested in being part of our foundation.
- Donate! Money helps the organization keep working. It helps us pay the bills and buy new equipment for the children.
- Through our sponsorship program, you can help a kid enter the soccer program and be part of educational activities.
Whatsapp:+57 304 242 46 84
Other Foundations and Projects:
- Mi Barrio, Mi Sueño
- What do they do? Programs that support children and women’s empowerment, such as community-based educational, psychological, and physical training.
- Where? La Honda, Medellín.
Whatsapp: Andrea Gonzales
+57 304 242 46 84
- Proyecto Florecer
- What do they do? Workshops for the empowerment of women and community kitchen.
- Where? Barrio Antioquia, Medellín.
Erin and Mar
- Fundación Poder Joven
- What do they do? A shelter for children who come from violent environments. They provide before and after-school care.
- Where? Barrio Triste and Manrique, Medellín.
- Fundación Jardín de Amor
- What do they do? A shelter for children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They provide before and after-school care.
- Where? Boston, Medellín.
- Corporación Sueños y Huellas del Mañana
- What do they do? Meal plans for children, before and after school care, and programs to help girls access higher education.
- Where? Prado Centro, Medellín.
- Fundación Visibles
- What do they do? Programs and projects of social inclusion that aim to transform the realities of populations in vulnerable situations.
- Where? Prado Centro, Medellín. They meet every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Metro station Cisneros.
- Movimiento Manglar
- What do they do? Create safe spaces for children to create, learn, and play music together.
- Where? Bello Oriente – Cármen de Viboral – La Ceja
+57 312 567 9505
If you are interested in joining foundations who help animals, then this is the list you might be interested in checking out.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to help and give back. We hope the list is useful and we thank you in advance for your willingness to help.