Girls and boys who are under protection receive environmental and agricultural education

  • The Unified Reception Center for Girls and Boys (CDMM) accepts girls and boys who are in the process of restoring their rights and are under a protective measure because their rights have been violated.
  • CURNN has an urban garden and vermiculture to provide children with environmental education, in addition to teaching agricultural and sustainable practices.
  • From January to August 2022, the number of victims of domestic violence rose to 26,809. Of these, 6,893 were men, 19,879 were women and 38 were LGBTI.
  • From January to August 2022, 438 girls and boys referred by the competent authority were treated in the Protect centers.

Bogota, DC, September 12, 2022. While receiving comprehensive care 24 hours a day, the girls and boys who are part of the Unified Reception Center for Girls and Boys (CURNN), an operational unit of the Sub-Directorate for Family in the District Secretariat for Social Integration (SDIS), learn to grow their own food in the urban garden that was built in this space.

“This center has an urban vegetable garden and vermiculture to work with three main goals with the girls and boys: to develop an activity that is different from those they do regularly at CURNN; provide them with environmental education and above all teach them the importance of agricultural work; implementing sustainable practices that are part of the institutional environmental management plan,” explained Felipe Cañon, Technical Environmental Officer of the Sub-Directorate for the Family at SDIS.

CURNN is a reception center for girls and boys who are in the process of restoring their rights and subject to a measure of placement in an institution accepted by a competent authority, a family lawyer or a family commissioner, because their rights have been violated. The Regional Secretariat for Social Integration, through the Family Sub-Directorate, is responsible for six (6) protection centers, among which is CURNN as an initial reception center.

According to data from the SIRBE control panel, issued by the Directorate of Strategic Analysis and Design of the SDIS, from January to August 2022, the number of victims of domestic violence amounted to 26,809. Of these, 6,893 were men, 19,879 were women and 38 LGBTI persons. Of the victims of violence in a family context, 426 were processed through the “Call from Life” line (601-3808400), and the remaining 26,587 – in person.

“The girls and boys we take in at CURNN can be anywhere from zero days to 11 years old. They usually stay here between one and two months while an accompanying process is developed with the families to generate an effective return to their homes. In the event that this opportunity does not occur, a long-term process begins where they are transferred to other centers,” said Alba Cielo Rodríguez, coordinator of the CURNN Protect Center.

But he also added that there are cases where girls and boys are not reintegrated into their homes because of situations where those homes are deemed unsuitable for them. There, an adoption process begins and they are sent to the Columbia Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF).

The city has 6 Protect Centers located in the cities of San Cristóbal, Mártires, Engativá, Puente Aranda and Antonio Nariño. “Complex care is provided for girls and boys with professionals who rotate 24 hours a day. There is dental care, medicine, psychosocial team, social work, psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, dietician, speech therapist and other fields,” commented the CURNN coordinator.

“We have vegetables planted, tubers, lettuces, radishes and Swiss chard. We have several seedlings of lettuce, radishes, cilantro, beans and carrots. We also have a vermiculture system that allows us to reuse kitchen waste to generate fertilizer that helps us maintain the garden,” Canyon said.

The food that comes from the garden is used to prepare different recipes for girls and boys. When the production is very large, these items are supplied to the employees from the operating block. The project started in 2021 and since then more than 150 children have benefited from it.

“When families have problems, we go to the family police station, file a complaint, ask for our protection measure. When it comes to girls and boys and their rights are violated, their rights are restored and then they are sent to this operational unit. We not only work with the girls and boys who come in, there is also a prevention process with the families through the “Strengthening the Family” modality, added Alba Cielo Rodríguez.

In 2022, Protect centers treated 100% of girls and boys referred by the competent authority, serving 438 girls and boys in the period from January to August 2022, providing timely care with an interdisciplinary approach, within a comprehensive protection .

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