New profile for ICDP Colombia

ICDP Colombia gathers new momentum by registering a new board.

The new board brought together colleagues from two teams that had been working separately for a very long time. There are 6 board members (on photo above from left to right): Guillermo Navas, Carolina Montoya, Eumelia Galeano, Carmen Lucia Andrade (chairperson), Abel Salazar and Lucy Mejia. Nicoletta Armstrong continues as advisor, she reminisces about significant people linked to ICDP Colombia history:

" In the early 1990'ies, I trained a group of people linked to the Amanecer Foundation and for seven years we  worked together developing ICDP projects in the department of Quindío. Our work during that time received significant support from Juan Andujar, a businessman whose kindness, generosity and professionalism helped kick-start ICDP developments in Colombia - and he continued to offer support for years to come. In the year 2000, I started to cooperate with Manuel Manrique, the representative of UNICEF and this opened doors for large scale projects, starting a new phase for the Quindío team who formed ICDP Colombia. We travelled all over the country and cooperated with local ministries and trained 20, 000 facilitators in several departments of Colombia. Over the years, ICDP was institutionalized in some of these areas.

In parallel to my work with the Quindío team and UNICEF, I was also working with another team of professionals operating through the university of Luis Amigo in Medellin, Antioquia. Eumelia Galeano played a key role as she was instrumental in bringing and afterwards supporting ICDP developments in this part of Colombia. She organized for me to train a team at the university, displaying generosity not only by offering her home (where I stayed each time I visited Medellin) but also by finding time to coordinate ICDP developments on top of her busy schedule as Head of the Sociology Department. Carolina Montoya was one of the first people I trained at the university and she became strongly committed to ICDP taking every opportunity to run ICDP projects over the years. More recently she established her own ICDP team consisting of a group of retired teachers (all volunteers), including Lucia Mejia who is now a board member of ICDP Colombia. I trained Abel Salazar a few years after Carolina and he too became convinced of the importance of our methodology and started training teams all over Antioquia.

In 2001, my Norwegian colleague Markus Hoff Berge and I helped form ICDP Colombia to enable ICDP to cooperate with UNICEF. Ayda Ramirez and Ricardo Jimenez were from the start and for many years key members of ICDP Colombia and we maintained good and fruitful cooperation over those years. However they left the country at the end of last year and this meant the board had to be reorganized and strengthened. Carmen Lucia Andrade was the only original board member left and she is continuing to act as chairperson. I am very pleased that she recently put together the new board composed of this excellent group of people. They held their first meeting on the 15th of July, which I joined via skype. It was a historic moment in the sense that the new board united ICDP trainers who have been operating separately since the early 1990'ies, but who knew of each other's work through me. The Quindío and Antioquia teams have now finally joined forces together bringing years of ICDP experience and forming a strong  new board. Guillermo Navas is also part of it, contributing with his wide ranging expertise from his work in Save the Children and UNICEF.

The exciting ICDP Colombia story owes a lot to its trainers of course, but equally and perhaps even more crucially to Manuel Manrique, Juan Andujar and Eumelia Galeano - because they understood the potential of ICDP, had vision and offered their unwavering support, advise and friendship for decades."

Photo below shows the original ICDP Colombia board, from left to right: Dora Lilia Aristizabal, Claudia Marcela Rojas, Ayda Brigitte Ramirez, Carmen Lucia Andrade, Blanca Cecilia Garcia, Nicoletta Armstrong and Ricardo Jimenez.