After months of feasibility and context studies, the nonprofit organization Still I Rise has taken the first steps to establish an institutional presence in Colombia. Objective: to start an international school for vulnerable refugee children using the same model as Still I Rise International School in Nairobi.
In Colombia, the full force of the Venezuelan crisis is being felt, leading to a total of 1.7 million refugees in January 2021. Colombia is second in the world for the number of displaced people within its borders, with over 8 million people. Conflict, corruption, and persecution are among the main causes of internal displacement.
The situation for minors is dire: estimates suggest that 16% of adolescents are not in upper secondary school (UNICEF, 2019), exposed to ongoing risk of violence and child labor. It is suspected that this percentage is actually much higher, due to the difficulty in tracking of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Still I Rise's work in this setting will probably be based in the capital Bogota. Studies are being done to define the most suitable area of the city to start operations. At the same time, the process of registering Still I Rise Colombia as a legal entity is underway and will be completed by early 2022: the goal is to launch the new international school in the summer of next year. (Press release)