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Economic security in Colombia

Ensuring children are economically empowered and protected in emergencies.

We are a leading voice in promoting better socio-economic conditions for children, adolescents and youth, and their families in Colombia.

Colombia has among the lowest rates of access to financial services in Latin America. Nearly 5.6 million people have no access to formal banking which leads people to take loans from informal sources, often with very high interest rates.

Access to financial services

I feel very happy because now I see, in saving, an opportunity to buy things I couldn't before

We work with young people, particularly those who are displaced and vulnerable, women and Afro-Colombians to help them become economically stronger. This involves working with communities to provide training, technical assistance and financial support. These activities support youth, parents and caregivers to participate in individual and collective savings, community banking and other financial and non-financial services.

We also promote safer and more resilient practices to protect and support children, young people and their families in emergency situations. We work closely with families to identify and mitigate the risks of natural disasters, promoting environmental protection and early warning systems. We also strengthen community emergency committees to recognise and prevent risks and to focus on marginalised children who are most at risk during emergencies.

Helping families to save

Nieves, a woman from Turbaco struggled for a long time to save money to improve the lives of her 2 children due to a lack of access to financial services in her community.

She then joined a local savings group set up by Plan International Colombia. The idea of this project is to create self-managed groups in communities to encourage children and parents to create a culture of saving. At the end of the first cycle, Nieves had managed to save 500,000 pesos (€150) which she used to support her family.

Saving is quickly becoming a habit for Nieves’ savings group which is now in its second cycle. "I feel very happy because now I see, in saving, an opportunity to buy things I couldn't before. The first thing I do is think about what is missing in my home and my family,” said Nieves.