The Spanish Foundation Carita Feliz (Happy Face) provides education, protection and comprehensive development as fundamental means to break the cycle of poverty of disadvantaged children in Colombia.
As in most of the so-called third world countries, thousands of children in Colombia today cannot fully enjoy their rights, which theoretically should protect them, as what they most know is poverty, violence, suffering and lack of affection.
Fighting against this injustice, Carita Feliz acts through foundations of renowned performance in Colombia that provide marginalized children and their families the necessary autonomy to reach full citizenship and social, economic, cultural and spiritual progress, which helps them to create a solid foundation that ensures a fair and sustainable human development.
In Spain, Carita Feliz works with awareness programs, as well as education and integration of immigrant children.
Our aim is to change the expression of abandonment and hopelessness of marginalized children by a smiley face, so that they really have the chance to be children and grow in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
Carita Feliz was legally established in Madrid in July 2003. Its founders Juan Uribe and Christine Davies are a Colombian couple which immigrated to Spain in mid-2000 due to problems of violence in Colombia.
With few resources and starting a new life with their three minor children, this couple spent all their money to set up the Foundation Carita Feliz. Since then, the successes and results of the foundation have been remarkable, as it has not been easy to stand out in the «competitive» world of NGO’s.
The success of Carita Feliz is due to its professional management and business orientation, directing its efforts through marketing, internet presence, sponsorship programs, awareness campaigns, the publication of studies and the presentation of projects.
In order to have a stronger impact and better results, Carita Feliz is currently focusing on education, protection and the comprehensive development of children in the metropolitan area of Medellin. Therefore it is working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Medellin, the Church and a number of foundations of great experience in this type of social care.
AWARDS AND PUBLICATIONS
• Special mention at the XXVIII edition of the Alpha Awards for Excellence in Marketing of the Club of Marketing Leaders
• Award of Intereconomía Group (2007) for the work in favor of the integration of immigrant children in Spain
• Publication and promotion of the study «Minors and their participation in the armed conflict» in 2004 to defend and promote the rights of children. This study had great impact on the internet, news sites and NGO `s in Spain and worldwide.
MEMBERSHIPS AND REGISTRATIONS
• Member of the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) to support, defend and disseminate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
• Affiliated to One World Spain
• Inscribed since December 9th, 2003 in the Register of Assistential Foundations of the Ministry of Labor and Immigration of the Government of Spain, under the registration number 28/1.295
• Inscribed since February 20th, 2004 in the Register of Non-Governmental Development Organizations of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, registration number 836
Carita Feliz fulfils all requirements of Spanish law, including the condition regarding adequate and sufficient funding to pursue its foundational aims.
It is supervised and controlled by the Spanish State through the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Immigration (MTAS) and it characterized by having a professional, efficient and transparent management, always oriented towards total quality, thus ensuring that the contributions achieve their goals.
As it has been constituted and registered in Madrid, Spain, Carita Feliz is principally governed by the Resolution R.A. 304/1993 of the European Parliament, by Articles 22 and 24 of the Spanish Constitution, by National Laws 50/2002 and 49/2002, Royal Decrees 765/1995, 316/1996, 384/1996 and 776/1998, as well as Law 1/1998, approved by the Regional Government of Madrid, as well as the current legislation in Colombia
INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN
Breaking the cycle of poverty in Colombia through education, protection and the comprehensive development of disadvantaged children, giving them the autonomy that enables them to achieve their best social, economic, cultural and spiritual progress.
Before 2020, Carita Feliz will be internationally recognized as the leading non-governmental social development organization regarding education, protection and the comprehensive development of disadvantaged children in Colombia.
The success of Carita Feliz is based on its highly committed, creative, efficient and transparent high quality management, always oriented towards fulfilling the children’s rights and thus ensuring the achievement of its objectives.
The values of the foundation are:
Our staff and volunteers do their job with love, devotion, vocation and responsibility, always performing an outstanding service
We work hard to achieve that children’s rights and duties are being known, respected and enforced
We work with creativity, breaking paradigms and implementing innovative strategies in all our activities
We carry out our projects and achieve our goals with minimal investments of time and money, always ensuring the highest quality
All our actions are performed under the strictest ethical standards, fully complying with legal, statutory and auditory rules
Our management is carried out within a strict quality system in all its processes, according to international standards
• Beneficiaries: marginalized children with emphasis on early childhood
• Location: Colombia, especially focusing on the Metropolitan Area of Medellin
• Target group: NGO’s working for children in Colombia
According to Convention on the Rights of the Child, any person below the age of 18 is defined as child, unless the relevant laws recognize an earlier age of majority.
There are three stages:
• early childhood ® from pregnancy to age 6
• childhood ® from 7 to 12 years
• adolescence ® from 13 to 18 years.
•Rights of children:
From early childhood, children are individuals which are holders of rights, recognized in international treaties, in the political constitution and the Colombian Code of Childhood and Adolescence. Top priority rights of early childhood are health care and nutrition, vaccination, protection against physical hazards as well as early education. In addition to this, in the first month of life the civil registration of all children should be guaranteed
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international human rights treaties, the United Nations and associated countries have proclaimed and agreed that any person has all the rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of its race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, economic situation, birth or other status
Education is a fundamental human right, inherent to all children. It is crucial to our development as individuals and society and helps to establish the basis for a fruitful and productive future. Ensuring that children have access to quality education, based on fundamental rights and on gender equality, it is important to create every day more and more opportunities that have an effect on future generations. Education contributes to improve live and to eradicate the vicious cycle of poverty and disease, paving the way for sustainable development
Every child has the right that legislative, administrative, social and educational measures are implemented to prevent and protect him from all forms of physical or mental violence, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, damage or sexual abuse, or any other activity that may endanger or interfere with his education, health and development. As stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth»
Every child has the right that all necessary conditions are provided to him so he get an appropriate nutrition, health and education, which enables him to achieve an optimal physical, mental, spiritual, moral, cultural and social development
The family, as fundamental group of the society and natural environment for the growth and welfare of all its members and particularly the children, should receive the required protection and assistance that empowers it to fully assume its responsibilities within the community. Working with the family should be oriented to create better environmental conditions for children, allowing them to achieve their full development