Our mission 1973-1988
The birth of our Foundation is marked by a painful anecdote: In December 1973, Jaime Jaramillo witnessed how a young girl threw herself onto the street to pick up a doll box, and in the process was run over by a car.
When he ran to help her, she died within minutes and noticed that the box that she ran for, was empty.
Since then, “Papa Jaime”, as the street children would call him, decided to fight with all means for the rights of children by providing them with medical attention, food, affection and a place to live.
This work began in the 1970’s, and through volunteer groups which were all connected through friendship and the desire to help.
Our first home was a small house in “La Perseverancia” where we cared for 25 boys and girls, which were attended by volunteers and the female police force of the nearby station.
Dream materialization 1988-1995
What began as an individual commitment soon became an institutional challenge, and into a process of construction and consolidation of our now institution.
To expand our coverage, we opened a house in 1988, in the neighborhood known as San Cristobal, where we cared for boys and girls from the age 6 and on until the year 1991. During this time, we were able to pick up at-risk children from the streets and from places where they were in danger.
These pick-ups evolved onto what was known as “Rescue Patrols”, our Foundation’s emblematic program. At the same time in 1988, in Manizales, our work started by helping those who lived in the garbage dumps, which later resulted in the opening of our now home “Sede Girasoles”.
In 1990’s, we defined our now Model of Attention and the services which would be provided in our new home in Cajica, which was given to us thanks to ICBF. After a few years however, our house suffered a massive fire incident and it was given back to ICBF. In 1993, with the funds obtained from a campaign led by 29 important companies in Colombia, we were able to build our home “La Esperanza” in the Rosal sector in Bogota.
Since 1995, the Foundation has celebrated numerous contribution contracts with the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare “ICBF” in Bogota, Manizales, and other cities in Colombia.
In 1999, the Foundation participated in the “Strengthening, Self-Assessment and Quality Standards Project” led by UNICEF, ICBF and the Restrepo Barco and FES Foundation, in order to obtain the qualification of the protection processes. The results of this process were reflected in a better quality of service offered to our street children.
By the end of 2000, for the first time the Foundation was evaluated by the ICBF under their parameters of such quality standards. We obtained excellent qualifications on behalf of the ICBF.
In 2001, we consolidated the intervention work with families and the construction of “Coexistence Pact” that responded to the institutional reality, through a gender and rights perspective, a path towards which our organization is orientated.
In 2003, we signed the first international cooperation agreement with JICA, Japan Cooperation Agency, which for three years funded the Rescue Patrols and several training workshops at “La Esperanza”.
During the same year, the French company Schneider Electric was involved in one of our “Career Guidance” projects and funded a bakery workshop as well.
In 2003, we opened our “St. Patrick” home for the program “Residencia de Egreso”, which was largely funded by COTA from Ireland.
In 2004, we then opened our “Emergency Center” home, which was funded by “Fundacion EXITO”. Their French partners “Casino” subsidized the endowment of “Casacorazones” Home, which was delivered on behalf of the National Department of Anti-Narcotics.
Similarly, in that same year, the Italian Organization XMAS Project of Milan, provided the money for the purchase of the house where the “Albachiara” program operates.
Towards the end of 2005, after a long process of implementing our Quality Management system, we obtained the certificate ISO 9001:2000 by ICONTEC, also known as the Colombian Institute of Technical Standards.
By order of The Ministry of Social Protection, during 2006 and 2007, the Foundation developed a project for the prevention, dismissal and progressive eradication of child labor in 34 cities in the country, which benefited 2,950 children and their families.
In 2007, with the support of ICBF, the Foundation began a temporary union with the ACJ and the “Renacer Foundation “, and together executed the project “Bogota towards an Inclusive City” to help homeless children in Bogota, which benefitted 544 children and 220 families in street situations.
The activities were carried out for five years, with the sole purpose of decreasing the risk that boys, girls and adolescents who depended on living on the streets in order to survive, under the modality of “Centros de Acogida y Convivencia”.
Going back to basics 2010-present
In 2010, to advance a program of children in situations of abandonment, abuse and violation of rights, we built the “Nuevo Amanecer” home.
This large country-side home, provides in-house integral attention to 62 boys, girls and adolescents ranging from the ages 7-18 years old.
In 2012, as a result of an agreement between IDIGER, the District Secretary of Social Integration and our Foundation, we developed a project to advance the promotion of integrity and its social inclusion as environmental recoverees of 150 street habitants who are exposed to the risks of living in the sewers. Furthermore, the project strengthened their life projects and improved their socio-economic conditions by generating income, while recovering from living in the sewers.
From 2010 to this day, the challenge has been to strengthen in children and adolescents, the management team, the professional care staff, and the rest of the employees Papa Jaimes’ “SER” philosophy, that is based on the adapting into a natural lifestyle and on the awakening of the consciousness, which inspires to live from love and not from fear.
This thought has been consolidated day by day in a methodology, that includes tools that tell us the ways by which we instill this philosophy onto our children.