New Community Center in Colombia
In 2017 the Fundación Amigos De La Comunidad Golda Meir set up the Golda Meir Community Development Center (CDC) in Colombia, which is now attracting 180 children, 90 adults – mostly mothers who are heads of households – and 70 seniors to the Center each week. They are providing an oasis of support in the middle of the poor Las Americas neighborhood in Barranquilla.
The Center is run by volunteers who are responsible for raising their own funds, so they are constantly looking for sponsors for their different projects. They have been successful in securing funding from several foundations and Jewish families to cover the day to day costs of the Center.
Thanks to one of these donors, the Fundación can now provide daily snack to participants in the programs. One foundation has generously funded health and entrepreneurship workshops and a program of vaccination for the children at the Center.
The Fundación has been welcoming groups of local people, members of the Jewish community, and past and present students of Colegio Hebreo Unión, to visit the Center. One group of girls who are preparing for their Bat Mitzvah came with their Rebetzin to make bracelets with the children at the CDC. Senior students from the Jewish school came to organize games and music to entertain the seniors in their Golden Age group.
Volunteers at the CDC run arts and crafts and self-awareness workshops, empowering women and helping them to be proud of themselves and their role as women. They also run courses in food preparation where participants can learn and share new recipes. As part of the arts & crafts program, they use local materials like Iraca palm leaves, as well as recycled materials, to make toys for pets and other items. Some of these products are being sold for profit to help the Center to become economically independent, and there are plans to create micro-companies to assist with this plan.