For nearly ten years USAID has worked with the Pan American Development Foundation on a program dedicated to the economic reintegration of families displaced by violence. Over the years, USAID has supported numerous projects for the most vulnerable sectors of the population in Bogotá. Among the projects is a community center which hosts a cafeteria called Rebuilding Dreams (Reconstruyendo Sueños in Spanish).
Every morning the cafeteria serves breakfast to dozens of children ages 0-5 years and their parents. The cost of breakfast for a child is about 25 cents. An adult meal costs about 50 cents. All the meals provide a wide range of basic nutritional foods, including: rice, products made from fortifi ed fl our, lentils or beans, oil and sugar.
”It’s been two years since I started going to the community cafeteria with my three children. It has helped us a lot,” said Eduvina González, a head of household who regularly receives meals at the cafeteria.
About 560 breakfasts are served each week to qualified families, and in the afternoon 88 children come to the cafeteria for lunch. The community center also offers classes to parents not only on nutritious food preparation and healthy lifestyles, but also, on literacy. The parents also help make bread in the cafeteria’s kitchen, and receive 10% of the sales, generating much-needed income for their families.
“I believe this is a space where you can get integrated assistance to benefit the whole family”, said González.
Last updated: January 12, 2015