A Belated Happy New Year!

A belated Happy new year to all our lovely Children of the Andes supporters! We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that 2011 has started well for everyone. Thank you for all the lovely Christmas cards you sent us and for your generous donations to our Christmas Appeal (Victor’s story – you can still donate here). We do love getting post and having visitors!

2010 seems so long ago already, but when I think back at how much we achieved, (and that’s not just we in the office, but you as our supporters too) I am more than content.

In 2010 our partner ACJ (The YMCA in Colombia) started the final year of their Big Lottery funded programme. For the last five years ACJ and COTA have been developing an educational model for working children in Cali. Thanks to this programme 70 % of the participating children have now reduced their working hours, and 30 % are now not working at all. This is great news as the children now have the chance of a full education and a better future.

Our Bogota based partner Fundación Restrepo Barco (FRB) also continued to work extremely hard educating children about the risk of landmines in Colombia. Colombia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, with at least 358 recorded causalities in 2010. FRB reached out to around 1400 children in some of Colombia’s high risk areas, showing them how they can protect themselves fro the dangers of mines. Children account for an estimated 20% of all landmine victims. Thank you for your commitment to COTA and all of the children that we support – you are all amazing!

Sadly there remains much to be done in Colombia, and we are going to be relying upon you again this year to help us reach out to as many children as we possibly can. Wondering how? Here’s how!

For those of you who have made a new year’s resolution to get fit or lose weight this year – we want you to show off at a sponsored fitness event and raise some money for our work! There are loads of great running events going on this year, as well as an exciting 100k cycle ride through London at night taking place in June, and various other sponsored events.

For those of you that are not so concerned about fitness, but do want to do something fun and raise some money, we have the perfect thing for you… COTA’s second Charioke (Charity Karaoke Marathon). We love this event, its so much fun, and a great chance to meet new people and impress your friends with your singing skills – or lack of! We now have a confirmed date of March 14th so let us know soon if you want to sing your heart out for Children of the Andes!

If you’re not convinced by running, singing or cycling through London, please see how you can help on our website – I guarantee something will inspire you – from coffee mornings to speed dating and much more! And if you have an idea of your own please contact Heidy on 020 7549 0228 and the two of you can start planning.

From all of us at Children of the Andes, we wish you all the very best for a happy and prosperous 2011.

Thank you for supporting our work – we couldn’t do it without you!

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