Colombia: CSO (Civil Society Organization) Community Outreach
Through this project, funded by USAID, Pure Earth sponsored initiatives by four local civil society organizations (CSOs) to increase community participation and awareness regarding the environmental damage and health risks of pollution.
After an initial planning period, the project was launched on February 19, 2020, with a workshop in Bogotá co-hosted by Pure Earth, USAID, and two local groups, Sueño de Ángeles and Comunica Colombia. The objectives of the training were to build awareness of pollution and health issues facing constituents of the CSO participants, to introduce community-led communications strategies, and to brainstorm pollution and health-focused awareness campaigns that would engage and teach local communities. Read more about the launch.
After the launch, Pure Earth announced a call for proposals to Colombian civil societies working on education and solutions to local pollution issues. Among the requirements were the following:
-The sponsored projects must have the potential to generate solutions in aspects related to health and environmental pollution.
-With respect to expected results, sponsored organizations must develop activities that contribute to the most vulnerable populations suffering from health impacts caused by environmental pollution.
Pure Earth received 107 proposals from around the country and, out of 13 finalists, chose four outstanding initiatives. See below for more details about each of the selected initiatives:
CSO: Servicios Especiales de Salud (SES), Hospital Universitario de Caldas
Location: Manizales, Caldas
Project Title: “Technical strategy to raise awareness and monitor the health effects caused by air pollution by particulate matter PM2.5 and PM10 in the Isabel la Católica High School in the city of Manizales, Caldas, Colombia”
Topic: Air quality measurement and education
Activities: Taught on air quality and contamination to middle school students.
Developed a learning platform to raise awareness of and monitor the health effects of air pollutants, specifically PM2.5 and PM10. Installed sensors in meteorological stations to measure air quality.
CSO: Muligrasas F&L SAS
Location: Chocontá and Villa Pinzón, Cundinamarca
Project Title: “Transformation of waste from tanneries that generate pollution of the Bogotá River”
Topic: Environmentally safe collection and transformation of tannery waste
Activities: Built a greenhouse to store and compost the tannery waste. Bought machinery to turn waste, making the process more efficient; now able to compost more waste. Led workshops for those in the tanning sector to raise awareness of the potential environmental effects of tanning and to teach environmental best practices for disposing of tannery waste. Started the initial phases of creating a water treatment plant.
CSO: Corporación Haciendo y Pensando el Pacífico (CORHAPEP)
Location: Puente Nayero, Valle del Cauca
Project Title: “Identification of environmental contamination sources that affect the health of the resident population of the Puente Nayero humanitarian space”
Topic: Environmental justice and solid waste contamination
Activities: Identified sources of contamination through the Conducted clean-ups at identified sites. Formed a group of Environmental Managers (children and adults) to raise awareness of local environmental issues. Created a community recycling business.
CSO: Universidad de América
Location: Quibdó, Chocó
Project Title: “Recovery and Use of Solid Plastic Waste as a Strengthening Strategy for the Protection of Water Sources in the Municipality of Quibdó”
Topic: Environmental awareness and identification of contamination
Activities: Strengthened capacity in caring for the environment and biodiversity of Quibdó. Conducted water and soil samples to identify contaminating elements that could affect the environment and the health of residents. Created and distributed educational booklets.
The project was finalized in December 2021. See below for the final reports in both Spanish and English as well as a video highlighting the initiatives.