Frequently Asked Questions
Preguntas Frequentes

Who Are We?
Quien Somos




How long has the FFVB been working for?

The FFVB has been working as a legal entity as from September 27, 1991. This is the date it was granted Legal Entity Status No. 001107 by the ICBF. 

How did the FFVB start?

In 1989, Mrs. Socorro Gracia de Velez and Mr. Guillermo Sierra Peñaloza had a Divine Call, each one separately, to join forces and give the best treatment and adequate conditions to these brothers of ours in Christ, who were in depressing conditions, and up to that moment, there was not any coherent work done, let alone a deep knowledge of the problem itself. Teresa Mendoza de Berrio, founder of the Asociación de Futuros Valores de Cartagena, was the common friend who shed light on which road to follow. Mrs. Socorro and Mr. Guillermo would go out every day at 6:00 a.m. to deliver snacks, cure injured people, speak about God, bear threats, rain, with happiness and being convinced that a lot could be done for these children and youths. Maria Lucia Tcherassi joined them after a few months, and then Lucy de Isaza and others.

When does the Board of Directors meet and who are they?

The Board of Directors meets at regular meetings on the first Wednesday of each month and at extraordinary meetings upon their call. Its members are: Alba Velez Gracia, Chairperson, Desy Henríquez, Anny Jaraba de Sierra, Carolina Velez Gracia, Socorro de Velez, Adolfo Schlegel, Orlando Bianchy, Vicechair, Daniel Lacouture and Clemencia Puche de Grillo.

Who have been past chairpersons and directors?

Chair: Guillermo Antonio Sierra Peñaloza, Socorro Gracia de Velez, Maria Lucia Tcherassi Solano, Lucia Ruiz Martinez de Bencomo and Alba Stella Velez Gracia, hdv. Directors: Javier Osorio, William Gómez, Guillermo Sierra P.

What is the religious or spiritual orientation of the FFVB?

The FFVB is a CATHOLIC organization and all of its members, both leaders and non-leaders are active Catholics. A large number of Directors and its current Chair are Sons and Daughters of the Divine Will under the spiritual leadership of Father Pedro Rubio, hdv. This priest is in charge of the Seminary and of spreading the Divine Will in Colombia and in Latin America. We belong to the San Francisco Parish and many priests come to visit us all year round. We teach the religious values of our Faith to the boys.

What type of children does the FFVB look after?

We are currently taking care of on-the-street, abandoned, addicted, mistreated, abused, with displaced parents, high-risk and lost boys from ages 7 to 18.

What are the services rendered by FFVB to the boys?

Housing, food, health (general practice, nutrition, dental, substance abuse, psychiatry, vaccination, eye health, surgery), social work, psychology, clothing, academic, moral and religious education, and lots, lots of love, which is what they are mainly lack. 

Which are the requirements for the acceptance of a minor? 

That he belongs to some of the categories described in our target population. 

What are the fees for the services to a minor? 

Nothing. In some special cases, relatives (if any) are requested to provide a basic allowance for the minor's personal care. 

Do you accept girls? 

No. Only single boys. Among our goals for next year, we are contemplating the opening of the "MARY QUEEN OF HEAVENS" Dining-Hostel (for both sexes) and the "LUISA PICARRETA" Women's Temporary Home for girls and youths between the ages of 7 and 18. 

Do most of children come from the interior? 

No. For several years now, most of the users of the services provided by the FFVB come from our own city and district. 

Why are children not put to work? 

Because our mission is not to put children to work. Our job is to guarantee their rights and cultivate life-long values in them and have such values transmitted to their children and immediate family. Their rights include A) Right to live, to survive, to have access to adequate health and nutrition, medical services and social security. B) Right to all of the services that guarantee a full and harmonic development as human beings, in all of the following areas and dimensions: spiritual, physical, intellectual, affection, moral and social. C) Right to freely express their opinion with respect to matters affecting them; right to the freedom of expression, and right to look for, receive and disseminate information; freedom of ideas, consciousness and religion; freedom of association and peaceful meeting. D) Right to be protected against all types of abuse, mistreatment, exploitation, discrimination, or any activity that interferes with their integral development as human beings. Some boys, mainly the older, carry out casual and temporary works that are beneficial for their personal growth, and assess their acting on a daily basis. On this topic, the goal is to setup a small company inside the Home that would serve to create a Love towards Work culture. 

Which are the boy's daily activities? 

They get up to the 6:00 a.m., they make their beds, take a bath, get dressed, pray, have breakfast. Those assigned to cooking, delivery of clothes, and house cleaning carry out their works; others go to their in-house psychology, social work, evaluation and follow-up appointments; others attend Medical, Dental, Organs and Senses, Optometry, Nutrition, Psychiatry and Toxicology external consultations, and sometimes laboratory tests done. Boys that have nothing outstanding, usually most of them, attend personalized academic leveling classes under the direction of a female Graduate and a group of female Special Educators. They are divided in groups according to the grade they are in or the one they want to move up to. In the morning, seven (7) children attend the Public School of Sector Four (7), and they are also given additional classes in the afternoon. Likewise, three (3) children attend classes in the morning at a Special Education Center, with additional classes in the mornings. Eighteen (18) children, the largest group, attend the Boys' Public School from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day, accompanied by a Tutor; these boys get extra work in the mornings. The attendance to school of each child is thoroughly evaluated, and sometimes it may be prudent, wise and beneficial for children to spend some time until they have "contact" with society. Boys who are available in the afternoon attend Painting, Body Expression, and Dance workshops, and sports in nearby parks or on the mini-soccer field at the Home. Either weekly or every two weeks, depending on the budget, outings are scheduled to the Zoo, Pool, Walks, Gatherings, Strolls, Sea walks, and many activities at the Home such as instructive talks, Holy Masses, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, educational and commercial movies presentations, dances, forums, self-evaluating meetings, catechism and evangelizing meetings, cenacle, Catholic spiritual topic workshops, family and friends visits. Grace is said before each meal of the day and Holy Mass is attended at least once a week. Those staying overnight watch television, and sometimes play soccer, glass balls, domino, ping-pong, parks, bingo, chess, etc. In 1999, we are planning to start an external training program would include several options so that children learn a trade according to their vocation. 

How come many children have family and they still reside at the Home? 

Because the temporary or permanent conditions of their families do not allow nor does it guarantee a full and integral development in all aspects, as abandonment, mistreatment, abuse or bad example is common among relatives. Many are simply rejected. On many occasions our work is to create an "atmosphere" or to move the relatives to accept the child. 

What does it happen when someone runs away? 

In reality, boys do not "escape" but rather "desert" from their formation and growth process. We should not call it flights or escapes since the FFVB is not a place of forced reclusion, but an organization that provides guidance to children in respect of their integral development, and it counts on their own desire and/or will to change, and that is, in the end, our only "raw material". Children who do not want to go on are free to leave the program at any moment, and in fact, it is deemed necessary for him to desert and re-enter the program so that he can assess by other means the help he is given. 

What happens when a child has drug problem? 

We, at FFVB, have designed a Children with Psychoactive Addition Care Program: "HAPPY LEADER". This program is the result of our experience over the years with addictive children. No person, either child or adult, can recover from addiction without a real will to do it. If a child has reached this point, we are ready to guide him through the rehabilitation process. The Coordinator for this Program is Re-educated Therapist Alexander Castro M. 

What happens when a youth turns 18? 

His discharge is in order under normal circumstances and preparations have been made for his family to take him back. He gets support in getting a job. The reality is that we have not had many cases like this, but our goal is that the child be placed, although it may take some time and he may go past 18 years old. The idea is not "to throw" them out onto the streets. 

Does the FFVB belong to the ICBF or to the Government? 

To none them. The FFVB is an NGO (Non-Government Organization) and a CO (Civil Organization) fully private and it does not have any direct connection, nor does it report to the ICBF or the Government of COLOMBIA. It operates under a Legal Entity Status issued by the ICBF, and it follows the guidelines of non-for-profit organizations in COLOMBIA. 

How is the FFVB financed? 

The resources needed for the maintenance of the FFVB's general program comes from: 1) A Contribution Agreement with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, ICBF. The current agreement is in effect until December 1999, and it comprises the payment of contributions per each space. The ICBF takes a space as "used" when a child has been admitted for 15 days or more. If the child does not stay for a minimum of 15 days, the ICBF does not pay for the space. For 1999, the cost of a used share is $330.000. The total number of spaces occupied at this time is forty (40), and it comprises both the Futuros Valores Home and The Divine Will Temporary Home. This year we must call for bids for the new contract that will run as from January 2000. ICBF's contributions added up to 71% of FFVB's total revenues in 1998. 

2) Donors: Over the years, FFVB's leaders have been able to register individuals as Fixed Monthly Donors who contribute a sum of money during a year, and such amount is increased on the following year. Some of them have been donating for more than 4 years. The minimum installment for 1999 is $10.000. At the present time, there are 58 Fixed Monthly Donors, and with their economic support we are able to provide food to the children whenever ICBF's payments are delayed. Another category is that of Donors in Kind, (165 in 1998), which includes people who bring food, clothes, toys, medicines, books, notebooks and school supplies. Most of the donations are sporadic, but those who donate on a regular basis do us a tremendous favor. The last category comprises companies or legal entities and are Fixed Donors on a Monthly basis. At the present time, there are 8. These three (3) categories contributed 15.1% of 1998's total revenues and our goal is to attain a 50%. The person who has registered most of the donors is Maria Lucia Tcherassi, while occupying the Presidency of the FFVB.

3) Submission of Projects to national and international entities: This type of support is not frequent. In 1998, resources from this type of source amounted to 13.3% of total revenues.

4) Sponsor for Love Plan: This is recently started sponsorship plan that includes payment of a single annual payment for: membership, sacramental, birthday and Christmas contributions. It may be joined by persons, family groups, groups or companies. The Plan bears certain duties to the Sponsor and of the FFVB. At this time, we have nine individuals who are sponsoring 25 children. 

Are the Director's salary and those of the 10 remaining employees paid by ICBF? 

No. The total payroll, which comprises eleven (11) direct employees and one (1) consultant under fees, is paid from FFVB's total revenues. 

Are the Homes owned by the FFVB? 

No, they are rented. For that reason our current priority is to build our own headquarters. 

How can I help? 

There are many ways, such as:1) Contacting us and becoming a Monthly Fixed Donor of money: The minimum installment is $10.000 per month and it only requires filling out a simple form sent to your address or it may be requested via e-mail or by telephone. 2) Contacting us and becoming a Donor in Kind: This is to give from what you, your company or your property produces or sells, over any period of time. We specially welcome food, clothes, shoes and school supplies. 3) Contacting us and becoming a SPONSOR FOR LOVE: This is done by applying for the SPONSOR FOR LOVE PLAN and the applicable annual contributions. 4) Contacting us and becoming a VOLUNTEER: This a select group of God's Labors that work unfailingly, at their usual occupations or positions, in favor of these unprotected children. At the moment, the visible heads are: Mirian de Martinez and Monica Roldan de Saad. 5) Contacting us and becoming a FRIEND of FFVB: Come and visit us periodically and contribute with money or in kind, learn about our activities and help us pass along FFVB's good name. 6) Pray for the children and youth and for all of us. 

What does the come-back to the family entail? 
What happens when the child returns to his family and he goes A-wall again? 
Who accompanies children at night, on Sundays and holidays? 
Are boys hit? 
If a boy leaves, is he accepted again? How many times? 


Calle 70 No. 38 - 54 - Tel.: 3689705 - 3605516
Fax: 3605515 - P.O. Box 51800 - e-mail:
Barranquilla - Colombia - S.A.

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