Through the “Pedagogy of Love”, which permeates all the activities carried out, IMAGINA wants to contribute to the integral development of children and adolescents from vulnerable communities through extra-curricular educational activities that helps them to grow integrally as happy, autonomous, ethical and participatory individuals.
IMAGINA was born on November 1, 1998, two (2) years before it was established as a non-profit organization, as a support program for 7 children from “La Vieja Libertad” neighborhood in Armenia (Colombia). Due to the family and social problems of the surrounding neighborhoods and the favorable acceptance by the community, the number of children grew, making it necessary to increase the number of volunteers and get a larger space. This is how, thanks to the support of friends and families, we were able to rent a house that would allow us to better serve the children and their families. In May 2010, after two (2) years of having started activities, we obtained legal status, constituting ourselves as a corporation, a non-profit entity, named Corporación IMAGINA Quindío.
Annually, an average of 60 children and adolescents attend IMAGINA. Each year we have the support of a good number of volunteers, mostly professional adults, interns/trainees from local universities, as well as young high school students who provide social service. Funding and support is made possible thanks to the help from families, friends and neighbors, and social leadership carried out by the same corporation, that is, activities that are implemented to raise funds. It is an effort of all who participate somehow with IMAGINA. The condition to enter this program is that children are enrolled in school, so they attend the schedule contrary to their class day. This is beneficial because they occupy their free time with academic reinforcement, learning crafts, music, playing sports, and playful recreation, etc. They also benefit from workshops in physical, oral and mental health. We try to distance them from current problems in their communities such as drug addiction, family violence, prostitution, and school desertion, among others.
In IMAGINA we are convinced that, as members of society, we have the responsibility to contribute to the development of a more just and solidary world. We intend to do this by helping to generate a social imaginary based on the “Pedagogy of Love”, which contributes to seeing the other human being as one like me. In fact we start from the slogan: “the other, another me”; this imaginary that is built with a specific didactic, in which everyone (volunteers, support staff, families, children, beneficiaries) internalizes the principle through the small actions that we carry out on a daily basis.
This awareness of small daily actions, allows gradually changing the concept of responsibility, work and social assistance, which in many cases is understood as welfare and generates asymmetric relationships. In this case, a social imaginary is generated based on the value of reciprocity in relationships, producing an awareness of fraternity. As a result, the view point of the benefactors as well as the beneficiaries changes and we can see ourselves as a unique team in which each one works from the perspective of being able to give, to contribute in the construction and visualization of the great human family. The consequence of this action is the construction of a more just, inclusive and equitable society, committed to building a world, where everyone has a place and opportunities for development and dignity of life.
LOVE is the value that moves us to work for our Mission and is the best “method” to make the beneficiaries whole and happy. That is why; LOVE is present in the school and extracurricular support activities we offer.
- Gratuity 100%
- No legal or bureaucratic requirements to access services.
- No membership requirements with any public entity of the social or private security system.
- There is no discrimination for any reason: neither for the origin, place of origin, religion or race.
- The support of an interdisciplinary team of volunteers and professionals in physical health, oral health, mental health, education, arts, use of free leisure time, recreation, sports and legal advice.
In 1948 the UN proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…”. In this spirit we strive so that girls, boys and adolescents have the opportunity to develop their athletic skills that help them care for and value their bodies, and also be treated with dignity and respect. Dance, Karate and Gymnastics are some of the activities we offer for them.
In this same way sense, we encourage motivate and support families’ mothers to continue their education. Many mothers have not finished high school and to get it completed we have the collaboration of the Institute “Eduardo Caballero Calderón”. In this institution, mothers can validate their High School Diploma the baccalaureate and thus have the possibility of accessing programs in jobs trades that can generate better economic income.
Workshops with girls, boys, adolescents and their families also allow awareness of gender equality.
- Working directly with families who live in the most vulnerable communities.
- Emotionally and psychologically supporting the beneficiaries.
- Supporting academically and in a personalized way the beneficiaries.
- Helping to develop the artistic, athletic and academic skills of the beneficiaries.
- Involving parents in the processes.
- Searching alliances and networks.
- Generating knowledge of reality.
- Seeking to influence public policies.