Remember how you helped a humble foundation in Bogotá, Colombia 2015 to help us buy our building after our landlady wanted to kick us out? Well, we´re back!
When I last wrote it was Christmas 2015 and I sent you a list about the exciting things that we had done…well, here is another list of what we have done and are doing right now, always thanks to your support!
1. We are working with 80 YOUNG PEOPLE AND 60 CHILDREN each week, offering homework support, games, art activities, free internet time (important in the Facebook Age when you don’t have a computer at home) and just generally a place to feel safe and have fun.
2. We KNOCKED DOWN OUR WALLS AND EXTENDED THE ROOF (which seems to be easy to do in Colombia) and we now have a big spacious building instead of a poky cramped house. It’s wonderful, and has increased our capacity from 30 kids squeezed in like sardines to 50 - 60 kids rubbing shoulders (depending how small they are).
3. We BROADCAST ON OUR INTERNET RADIO STATION TO THE WORLD for a period of time…sadly, technical difficulties, very disappointing technical support from our streaming service and my absence led to the temporary breakdown of our software and a hiatus for our radio station, but we broadcast some great shows on the topics of education, paranormal activity and hiphop while we were on the air…we are getting back on the air, very very soon, as we have found a local tech person who can help us. I’ll send you an example of one of our programs in the coming weeks.
4. We STILL HAVE 30 STUDENT PLACEMENTS, a trick I learnt from my old boss Ange who coped with a lack of budget by obtaining a salary-free workforce. Our placement students are studying physical education, social work, psychology, graphic design and early childhood education from 3 different universities in Bogotá and they help us immensely. Along with this, we have AROUND 20 VOLUNTEERS who regularly attend the Foundation and help with our activities, giving vital attention to our children and young people.
5. We have 20 RAPPERS FROM DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS WHO RECORD THEIR SONGS IN OUR RECORDING STUDIO, which is very exciting. They come from all around the local area once they hear that we are the only recording studio in the zone, and possibly Bogotá, that doesn’t charge a peso for them to record. And we will remain free forever, thanks to you guys! The rappers have requested that we find a producer who can teach them how to make their own beats…more on that below.
6. We obtained a donation from Colombia´s biggest tiles company and WE ARE TILING OUR FLOOR AND BUILDING A NEW BATHROOM SO WE ARE NOT CHOKING IN DUST ANYMORE! The builder started work today…but we have a bit of a problem….
Well, the tiles company was happy to donate a heap heap heap of tiles, new toilets, new sinks, etc. But that´s it. And there is an obligation that we install the tiles and send them photos as part of the donation “contract” that the Foundation signed. And all of that work isn´t cheap…
So thanks to some donors who have kept up the great work (you know who you are) and contacted me directly with their donation, we have already raised $1000 to go towards the tiler and his assistants, cement, other tile-related things that i know nothing about but are important (we are also taking advantage of this situation because we need to move a wall to reclaim about 10 square meters for our building which the tiler can do, but it´s extra labour and expenses for the bricks), but we need about another $1,000 more.
this $1,000 will help finish the payment for the tiling job and wall moving, and we will have enough left over ($300) that we are going to put towards a Music Production course that will be delivered in the foundation for our rappers by an experienced local hiphop producer. as they say, give someone a fish and they´ll eat for a day, teach a rapper to make beats and they shall have music for eternity…or something like that.