Resilience in The Face of Adversity

Volunteers in Colombia founder Andrea Gonzales knows that nobody has to pull the cart alone. Since the pandemic hit Colombia Andrea has used her creativity, problem-solving and leadership to change the foundation’s focus. As international volunteers were no longer looking for help with placements with organizations, she has refocused her efforts to supporting the foundations around her to provide food and basic supplies to those in need.

Andrea and her team have collaborated with other organizations like Yo Soñe un Sueño and Colectivo Por Naturaleza and have delivered food packages and lunches for vulnerable communities across Medellin like Niquitao, Comuna 13, Centro and Nueva Jerusalen in Bello. In addition to providing direct food donations, Volunteers in Colombia has also donated COP 5,500,000 COP (about 1,500 USD) to Putamente Poderosas which is helping informal workers with a focus on sex workers in the city center.

In total, they have delivered 45 food packages to different organizations in Medellin. These were donated to people in need in vulnerable neighborhoods around the city. They have also donated 450 lunches in the barrio Niquitao, another high-risk community.

In addition to providing direct food donations, Volunteers in Colombia has also donated COP 5,500,000 COP (about 1,500 USD) to Putamente Poderosaswhich is helping informal workers with a focus on sex workers in the city center. By collaborating with other initiatives, they were able to give out an additional 150 lunches in Comuna 13 and 50 lunches in Nueva Jerusalen.

And last but not least, because of their big network in Medellin, Volunteers in Colombia were able to connect people and organizations so they could donate 130 lunches and 100 food packages for families.

You can see the full summary of their work in the past 4 months here through their website.

Volunteers Colombia is a social enterprise with a mission to “Create a positive impact in the Colombian society.” By bringing like-minded people together, they are convinced that this will generate a positive impact on society. They believe that every [[joven]] professional can use her or his knowledge to make a difference. At Volunteers in Colombia they believe in “working for a cause, not for applause,” a beautiful reminder that giving back is truly a selfless act.

Not only do they focus on bringing the volunteer and the NGO together, but they also bring together organizations that they think can strengthen each other and share information to create a better and larger social platform in Colombia.

In the face of adversity, the Covid-19 pandemic has helped Andrea to build resistance and cope with new situations. In our recent interview with her Andrea mentioned that, “in the beginning, it sucked to see my hard work going down the drain in less than two weeks. But there was no time to be sad and do nothing, directly I changed my work to help the people and NGOs we are working with. Now more than ever they need the help.”

Volunteers Colombia continues to help place volunteers, focusing on virtual volunteering. If you would like to assist in their cause or contact them, you can reach them with the following links:

https://volunteersincolombia.com/organizations/crisis-help-covid-19https://www.facebook.com/volunteersincolombia

https://www.instagram.com/volunteersincolombia/

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