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Annual Report: In Ministry to Children (IMC) 2014

2014 has been a year of great change in the work that IMC has been doing in Colombia. We are seeing a change in the way that IMiC (the Colombian based part of the charity) is working with the most disadvantaged children around Bogota. For a long time, the focus was in rescuing children who had been abandoned by their families and were living, in great peril, on the city streets.

To enable this, IMC provided funding and helped to organise the purchase and building of a farm, Granja Peniel, that provided a home, education and activities for these 'street' children. Many children passed through Granja Peniel and we receive regular reports of how, as adults, they have either passed through higher education or vocational training and are establishing themselves in the work place with families. Some are looking for ways to assist IMiC.

In the early part of 2014, Granja Peniel was closed. IMiC is responding to changing situations and looking to increase the education and feeding projects (comedors) that it ran in some of the most deprived Bogota suburbs. The emphasis now is on supporting children within their families and trying to reach those in need in other areas. To do this, IMiC is building links with local churches.

Consequently, the need to 'rescue' children off the streets and provide full-time accommodation for them had diminished. In addition, Granja Peniel was an expensive and complex resource to run. That money is now being channelled into feeding and education programmes elsewhere. IMiC hopes that Granja Peniel can be rented out to other organisations and provide a regular income to support the comedor projects.

IMiC is also looking further afield to those in need. In the very north of the country is a desolate area, La Guajira, that has been suffering severe drought. This has caused malnutrition and a high mortality rate amongst children. IMiC has made contact with church leaders in the area and is looking for ways to help.

IMiC, actively supported by IMC, continues to input a huge amount into the lives of many disadvantaged children in Colombia. Over 2014, the UK branch, IMC, has sent monthly instalments to support the work in Colombia that total £87,833. Petersfield area church members have been very active in helping to raise this amount.

March, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK/Colombia collaboration. We are sure it will run for many more years.

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