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Transforming students’ lives along the Colombia-Venezuela border

Catch up Club, Beyond Borders Project, Save the Children.
Credits: © Save the Children (Colombia)

The migratory crisis and armed conflict near the Colombia-Venezuelan border have deprived thousands of Venezuelan and Colombian children of a quality education. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges faced by these children—especially women and adolescent girls. Many fell behind in essential learning areas because they did not have the internet access they needed for online learning.

In 2021-22, the Beyond Borders project, implemented by Save the Children, launched an innovative Catch-up Club initiative to overcome barriers to learning and improve children’s reading and writing skills. These clubs have since transformed the lives of nearly 400 children in conflict-affected border areas by providing safe learning spaces.

Thanks to this initiative, children like 10-year-old Majo can learn and interact with other children in person, after more than a year of learning in isolation.

“I was happy to be back in a classroom. It felt good,” she says. “The club has helped me read better and understand written texts.”

Improving her reading, writing and public speaking skills has given Majo more self-confidence. This has spurred her to continue attending the clubs and she dreams of one day becoming a spokesperson for them.

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