Small Actions, Big Change

Imagine you could take one small action that triggers a positive change for an entire community.

Something like the act of giving a child a ball so they can play a sport they love, or providing support to a woman and her family to help deal with grief and trauma. Or teaching community kids painting and literature to improve their communication and community relationships.

Imagine enabling a community that has suffered from violence, poverty and inequality with the chance to talk face to face with their political leaders to inspire positive action that could change their lives forever.

These simple steps, as part of the ANDA project, are improving the well-being of communities and families affected by hardship and poverty in Colombia.

Empowering local communities in breaking the cycle of poverty

In the third year of a five year partnership, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is enabling the ANDA project to make a positive change through a grant of US$28.6 million. ANDA is implemented by Global Communities, an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities at the grassroots level to help break the cycle of poverty.

The project provides support and helps build the capacity of 43 communities in six largely rural municipalities within the Southern Cordoba region, home to more than 38,000 beneficiaries. It also supports 5,320 households and 21,000 beneficiaries in the cities of Monteria and Cartagena.

Grassroots approach central to program success

These communities have faced years of hardship and are regularly at risk of violence and crime committed by local gangs and criminal bands. They have limited access to basic services – in particular, education, social infrastructure, employment, and healthcare.

Despite these difficult circumstances, the local people are very determined, resilient and ready to change their future. “The program is a success because of their commitment to make a change for the better. The results are encouraging and in many instances, have exceeded our expectations,” says John Forman, Country Director for Global Communities in Colombia. Some of the achievements to date include:

  • 4,421 people have received agricultural productivity training or assistance
  • 81% of households have benefited from a project to support food security
  • 952 local Government officials have been trained on the best way to access municipal, departmental and national government resources to address community needs

Learn more about the changes ANDA has supported throughout the Southern Cordoba region.