Help Empower The Barrios to provide humanitarian services, medical aid and eduation programs to vulnerable communities in Medellín!
Who We Are
Empower The Barrios is a Colombian grassroots humanitarian project of the California-based 501(c)(3) Kind Footprint. We are a team of mostly volunteers, working to empower and uplift vulnerable communities in Medellín, Colombia. All our projects are based on local knowledge and formed in collaboration with local partner organizations and social leaders. With these projects we want to provide immediate aid, as well as long-term transformations and sustainable development.
To maximize the impact of every donation we always keep administrative and logistical costs low. We promise 100% transparent communication of finances, risks and challenges with our donors. 97,6% of public donations received by Empower the Barrios is invested into our projects. 2,1% is the fee that gofundme charges us and 0,3% is the international bank transfer fee.
Our way of working, contacts and knowledge is open-source. Humanitarian aid is not a zero-sum game and sharing our way of working contributes to progress.
Feed The Barrios
Our team started in 2020, when the pandemic caused a humanitarian crisis. To support people who had lost their incomes due to the pandemic, Feed The Barrios was started as a project to distribute food packages to those in need. Through collaboration with government, private businesses, volunteers and community leaders we were able to assemble food packages with approximately 45 meals for 26.000 pesos / ($6.90USD). In just over 2 years we supplied over 300,000 meals, which is nearly 65,000 kg of food, to families in need. View our financial documentation for food aid here.
The Humanitarian Service Fairs
After the worst effects of the pandemic were over, we wanted to expand our work and help the communities we serve in more sustainable ways, with a vision for long-term growth. We still distribute food packages, but now we do this as a part of our humanitarian service fairs. These fairs bring partner organizations that offer various services to different neighborhoods each month. A local partner identifies the needs in their neighborhood and Empower The Barrios ensures the presence of the organizations who can best serve those needs. The services range from medical check-ups and vaccinations to legal advice and guidance on employment and training opportunities, which are offered free of charge.
During our first four humanitarian service fairs we distributed 700 food packages, but more importantly, people received many more additional services. This includes over 83 general medicine check-ups, 42 vaccinations, 30 HIV tests, 79 breast cancer screening workshops, 37 appointments with the mayor’s family support center, and many more. Check the updates and our social media pages to read about our latest results!
The Colombian public health system remains inaccessible to many people. In 2022, 28.2% of people with health problems did not receive the medical assistance they needed. That is why Empower The Barrios and Emergencias Apolo have started this joint project to provide primary health care and open up treatment routes for communities in Medellín with little medical access. Our medical brigades take place every month and each month we visit a different community. Logistics are cheap and medical professionals donate their time and work together to provide health care efficiently. They provide general medical appointments, psychology appointments, medical guidance and advice on how to navigate the public health system. Medical staff can order treatments and appointments with specialists, or prescribe medicines that are available to be distributed at the brigades directly. There is also an ambulance available in case emergency transport to a clinic is needed.
Recode The Future
Many teenagers from vulnerable neighborhoods in Medellín have limited educational and employment opportunities. Meanwhile, they are exposed to crime from a young age. This makes it hard for them to escape the cycle of poverty in their neighborhood. By offering after-school coding classes to teenagers between 15 and 18 years old, we want to help them learn and get out of their situation of poverty. In the program they will develop skills that give them access to jobs in the high-paying field of programming. The students attend two coding classes per week and after finishing the course, they will be connected with small companies that will offer a work environment for the students for 3 months while they develop their initial project. For this project, money will go to teaching materials, lunches and transportation to and from the classes for our students.
Another project with which we aim to break the cycle of poverty and increase education and employment opportunities for young people is our English classes project. In Medellín, speaking English doubles the minimum wage and it creates new employment opportunities. This project is currently paused due to a drop in attendance rates, but we are planning to restart it later this year.
Join us in our mission to empower vulnerable communities in Medellín and make a donation today! Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference in the lives of people in need. Whether it is the public school system, Colombian NGOs or local authorities, we have found an incredible will to participate in our joint-humanitarian projects without any desire for personal gain. This, together with the low cost of living in Colombia creates a situation where every US dollar or euro that is donated, multiplies in value. Donations will mainly be used to provide food packages at our humanitarian service fairs, to pay for medical equipment and lab work for our medical brigades and to buy education materials, food and transport for our education programs.
Thank you for supporting people in need!
List of Partners
Some of the local partners that we’ve worked with:
- Many social leaders throughout the whole city.
Find out more about our work on our website or social media channels.