How to promote healthy cities for children and youth?

January 17, 2020
Communications Colunga Foundation

It was the reflection that last Tuesday, January 7, brought together, in Fundación Colunga, a Football More, Educational Group Y Children's House Foundation from Colombia, entities that presented their experiences of intervention in public spaces, with the purpose of connecting ideas that allow creating and expanding friendly environments for children, allowing them to grow and develop safe in their communities.

If you saw the city from a height of 95 cms. What would you do differently? 

In Bogotá, Casa de la Infancia Foundation, together with Bernard Van Leer Foundation, develops the program Urban95, an international initiative that increases authorities, urban planners, architects and innovators with this question, appealing to the average height of a three-year-old child.

In this way, together with local rulers, communities, universities and civil society organizations, they design and implement urban development projects for early childhood, taking into account the paths that families make; accessibility to child care services; transformation of spaces and green areas for play and rest; mapping of key data for decision making; and involvement of families in urban planning, among others.

Alina Gómez, Executive Director of the foundation, said: “Many times the services offered are not those that the community demands, nor can they access them,” a variable that is essential to generate wellbeing in the link between (the ) child, caregiver and the environment.

Commune of Lanco: A great place to grow

Grupo Educativo (GE) carries out territorial work on Lake Lanco in the Province of Valdivia, a rural place that, in the words of Paulina Araneda, Executive Director of this consultancy, “was previously seen as a place of passage” due to its tourist characteristics .

However, in order to guarantee opportunities and rights for the children and youth of the place, they developed a joint work with various social actors of the community, to transform the commune into “a great place to grow”, building a policy cultural culture aligned with the National Childhood and Adolescence Policy. “It is essential to build with people and not for people. That is why it is essential to listen to us, ”Paulina said regarding the process they are carrying out.

Soccer More: Communities that inspire through sport

For 12 years, this organization - a member of the Colunga network - works with neighborhoods in vulnerable conditions, generating protected spaces for children through sports.

"The game, and the children themselves, are in the channel and the voice that manage to raise community relations in a neighborhood, based on the use of public space," said Cecilia Moreno, Director of Quality and Innovation of Soccer More. That's why , points out the importance of working from an approach that allows communities to listen to: “People, today, are the voice that allows building, while the foundation, or those who are at work, are only mediators that allow them to be visible or empower them. "

The foundation works by promoting the development of socio-affective skills through sport, and in communion with the family, in order to generate community relations that allow the whole environment to begin caring for children, expanding the sense of trust and territorial security.

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