Location: Medellín, Colombia
Mano Amiga Bello is located in Medellín, Colombia. The city of Medellín and its metropolitan area suffered one of its major security crises during the 1990’s. As a result, many values were lost, especially the value of life, of respect, of love of neighbor, and of helping others. Mano Amiga Bello is a small city but is growing fast, with delinquency, crimes, promiscuity, early pregnancies and where the residents still have to pay “vacunas” bribery to be protected from gangs.
Mano Amiga Bello in Medellín responded to these crises by opening a school offering academic training, social programs that benefit the student population and their families, free meals to the students, tutoring, sports, and psychological counseling.
They opened their humble doors in 1995, starting with 30 students who attended classes in a small home. Soon after, teachers, students, parents and neighbors started to help and began building “their school” with the desire to counter act the indifference and destruction that was created in Bello through violence with love and education.
Today, Mano Amiga Bello has become a major educational institution in the area and serves an average of 600 low-income students, giving hope to families who would not be able to pay for education otherwise. The children attending Mano Amiga Bello want to take full advantage of the education they are receiving and give a positive contribution to the transformation of their area and of their country.