On behalf of the Board of the Magdalena Foundation, Inc., I thank you for your support and contributions in 2005. In 2005, MFI collected a total of $14,531.89 in donations. This was achieved in spite of all the tragedies that have affected the United States and the world, last year and the amount of financial support that they required from all of us. On January 21, 2006 , we will award 21 scholarships.
MFI is registered as a non-profit organization and your contributions are exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) of the IRS code. Our number of incorporation is 0439045-6.
MFI scholars receive post high school technical training or a traditional college education. In addition, they receive ongoing training through workshops, seminars and “in the field” experience, as social workers who help indigenous and displaced people who live in vulnerable communities. Presently, some students are working on a project that observes human rights conditions in the State of Magdalena . The project is sponsored by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and is under the leadership of Alba Lucia Varela, MFI's Program Coordinator in Colombia and President of FUNDEHUMAC, our sister organization. This project attempts to survey all people who live in undesirable conditions. The United Nations intends to use these findings to recommend initiatives to help these people.
In addition, MFI and FUNDEHUMAC receive support from Friends of Colombia and The Colombia Project in Miami , Florida . Friends of Colombia also finances Paso a Paso, a project that pays for nine children to go to elementary school. These children receive support and guidance from MFI students. The Colombia Project finances small enterprises among needy people and in turn, they receive backup support from FUNDEHUMAC and our students. In short, these partnerships are providing education and poverty alleviation in Colombia .
At the end of 2005, our students collected and donated about 85 gifts to children in the communities where they volunteer.
We welcome you to the new year and hope you will be healthy and happy!
Haroldo L. Suarez
MFI STUDENTS WORK ON UN PROGRAM IN COLOMBIA
In 2006, MFI students worked on a project financed by UNDP to diagnose the problems surrounding the displaced population in the State of Magdalena and to evaluate their psycho-social situation. This project was elaborated by Fundehumac and the students developed legal and state wide strategies to seek an integral and total reparation to the displaced population. Prior to the initiation of this program, the students received the necessary training to work effectively with the displaced population. It is estimated that in the State of Magdalena there are about 110.000 displaced people and about 4.000.000 in the country. It is interesting to report that above program has found that of about ten displaced families there are one or two households that are not registered as displaced. This indicates that these people are not covered by any means of protection by the Colombian government or international initiatives. These families are only supported by the good intentions of their displaced neighbors. As a rule, a displaced family includes a mother, an elderly person an about four malnourished children. Obviously, the father has been killed and the rest of the family has been forced to abandoned their land. Most displaced people are farmers and usually, the mother is not educated.