Early Childhood Care Program

This program is directed at provided integrated care and protection for each child in the city of Medellín living in a highly vulnerable situation and having their rights violated. Through this program, the Fundación Mundo Mejor offers an integrated pre-school education employing the “Pedagogy of Love” methodology in which a child develops a critical and reflective spirit that facilitates their learning of knowledge and adopts healthy habits.

With the goal of contributing to the re-establishment of children’s rights and integrated development, the Foundation’s inter-disciplinary team implements innovative and quality processes to provide nutritional, educational and psycho-social attention with the goal of delivering integrated attention and ensuring children’s educational continuity.

Due to the situations experienced on a daily basis by the children who attend the Foundation, our work emphasizes the assimilation and demonstration of values, the exercising of rights by children, the strengthening of their identity and creating a sense of belonging. The Foundation also offers a space for the strengthening of family relationships through mechanisms that promote re-socialization and healthy coexistence between children and their families.

Population

  • Victims of forced displacement
  • Children of street sellers and informal workers
  • Live in rented accommodation
  • Live with drug dealers, sex workers and people living on the street
  • Suffer from abuse, mistreatment, labor exploitation and accidents in the street
  • Suffer from malnourishment
  • Suffer the effects of domestic violence and its consequences
  • Children who are not studying in formal education

Where we work

The Fundación Mundo Mejor attends to more than 1,900 children in 17 locations across the city of Medellín and its surrounding municipalities.

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Legal framework

In accordance with the parameters established by the Good Start Program from the Medellín City Council, we work with children aged between 0 and 5 years age from families that face serious socio-economic disadvantages. The Foundation delivers an Early Childhood Integrated Care program that seeks to achieve the objectives of early childhood development, taking into account the principles and guidelines that have been defined and applied in the national and regional contexts.

Fundamental principles

Our model of attention is guided by the following fundamental principles.

  • Equality: attention provided to children should generate the same opportunities for each child no matter what their individual characteristics or circumstances are.
  • Social inclusion and diversity: this principle refers to equality in access and attention that responds to the individual characteristics of children, taking into account their ethnic, cultural and socio-economic diversity as well as adopting a gender equality based perspective meeting the needs of children with disabilities.
  • Coherent and integrated actions: Coherent actions are understood as actions carried out with the family, the government and society to work towards guaranteeing the rights of children. In this context, the integrated nature of actions refers to the need to combine and coordinate the actions of these actors.
  • Participation: Promote the recognition of children as social subjects that have an active role in their environments.

General Objective

Contribute to the integrated development of children in the stage of early childhood that are part of vulnerable families in the city of Medellín.

Specific Objectives

  • Support the assimilation of moral and civic values that prepare children for their roles and responsibilities as citizens.
  • Strengthen families in the areas of conflict resolution by improving families’ relationships with the goal of mitigating domestic violence.
  • Contribute to the reduction in the school drop out rates in the city of Medellín.
  • Participate in the improvement of nutritional levels of children, as well as their families.
  • Support the educational continuity of children studying in the Educational Centers.
  • Strengthen the self-esteem of children.
  • Contribute to the development of a critical and reflexive spirit that facilitates the learning of knowledge and skills and promotes healthy habits.
  • Stimulate the creativity and talent of each child.

Nutritional Attention

This element of the Foundation’s work intervenes in children’s nutritional intake, favoring and strengthening their nutritional security. To achieve this, the Foundation implements strategies to prevent malnourishment and obesity, providing 80% of the daily calorie intake required by children. In addition, the foundation monitors the children’s height and weight and provides the vaccinations that the children require.

In this area, the Foundation has also designed and applied various campaigns for health promotion and the prevention of illnesses, including: prevention of infectious diseases; prevention of food-borne diseases; prevention of inactivity and obesity.

Educational Attention

The education provided by the Foundation is based on the “Pedagogy of Love” and the “Art of Love”, methodologies that encourage spaces and activities that, through the creation of confidence, freedom and respect, allow children to express themselves. In this way they can get to  know their environments and build their identities. Once they have communicated what they have inside, they have a better capacity to communicate this in their environments. This methodology allows them to develop their skills and competencies through recreational and artistic activities.

Two educational tools are used in this process:

  • Educational spaces include different thematic areas that generate formative educational contexts and contribute, through games and art, to achieve the objectives of early childhood development.
  • The values project, which is developed through three instruments: the dice of love, the communion of souls and the communion of experiences.

In this way, the “Pedagogy of Love” aims to achieve the objectives of early child development in the areas of knowledge, autonomy, language development, improvement of social interactions, cognitive development, increasing self-esteem and strengthening fine motor skills.

Psychosocial Attention

Protection is one of the fundamental rights of children and is stipulated in all national and international legislative frameworks. It refers to the fact that children should live their lives in conditions that ensure respect of their dignity, that they are cared for and protected against behavior that goes against their integrated development as human beings. It also requires that their caregivers provide them with good treatment based in love, respect and tolerance.

This process includes four strategies:

  • Characterization: a structured interview is conducted that allows staff to find out about the living conditions for each family, with the goal of offering them help or an assessment to tackle some of the difficulties that they face.
  • Official Registration of Children: To complete the necessary documentation and register children in the national health system, the Foundation acts as a conduit between the SISBEN health system and the family when there are difficulties in providing the required documentation.
  • Family Gatherings: These are spaces for formation and awareness raising, conducted with parents through workshops that facilitate participation, analysis, and reflection and cover a range of issues and topics depending on the needs and interests of the community.
  • Processes and Protocols: Protocols for providing attention and institutional processes have been developed to attend to cases in which children have had their rights violated. These have been implemented in family, community and institutional spaces.