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Learning Circles, Education for displaced children in Colombia

Learning Circles, Education for displaced children in Colombia


With more than three million internally displaced people, Colombia has one of the largest displaced populations in the world. Of these, more than one million children do not attend school. Since 2006, an escalation of violence has led to new displacements, particularly among indigenous and Afro- Colombian communities. In response to this national crisis, the Escuela Nueva Foundation in Bogota, Colombia created the Learning Circle program in 2004 to provide education to children, ages 6-15, who have been internally displaced by violence and are not enrolled in school. The initiative contributes to conflict management by focusing on the alternative: developing habits of peaceful coexistence, constructive behavior and social integration through education. The Learning Circles - places of learning located within the community - are linked to mainstream schools through shared academic calendars, grading systems and extracurricular programs. The relationship is mutually beneficial: Learning Circles ease the transition from the streets to school and local schools gain additional resources to support children who are out of sync with the traditional system. Learning Circles provide basic skills, counseling and social services for children who have special needs for rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The Learning Circles program is based on the Foundation's Escuela Nueva (New School) proven educational methodology but has been adapted to meet the distinctive needs of these children. The Learning Circles are part of a continuing national dialogue around the problems of violence and social disaffection. The Foundation has successfully advocated for the Learning Circles to become a nationally recognized program. The Foundation will continue to lead an open discussion to focus the necessary investments in the area with the greatest return for both economic development and peace building: educating the nation's future citizens.


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Fundación Escuela Nueva


Calle 39 Nº 21-57
Bogotá, Colombia PBX

+571 - 245 2712
+571 - 245 2712
Ext. 112


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