16 August 2019

Turkey donated equipment to schools and health centers in the Colombian Catatumbo

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) delivered in the municipality of Tibú, Norte de Santander, school and medical equipments that will help improve the living conditions of a population historically affected by the conflict.

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) donated a significant number of equipment to three rural schools and two health centers in the Colombian Catatumbo, in the department of Norte de Santander.

Elements such as academic texts, dictionaries, computers, student desks and sports kits, among others, as well as medical equipment such as wheelchairs, defibrillators, stretchers, microscopes and other health elements were delivered to the population of the municipality of Tibú during an event in which students and community members participated.

According to the Mayor of Tibú, Jesús Alberto Escalante, these donations will benefit more than 700 students and around 2,000 persons, both Colombian and Venezuelan migrants, who are served in the two health centers.

“We are receiving one of the most important donations that TİKA makes for the strengthening and growth of our youth. This is the way to transform a territory, these are the true peace events that this municipality and this nation needs”, Mr. Escalante said.

José Ignacio Sepúlveda, director of the Puerto Barco rural school, one of the beneficiaries, thanked TİKA for this support. “The population deserves it, because the Catatumbo has been badly beaten, it has suffered a lot and during years we've been waiting for this help. Thank God we are receiving it today, and it will be a benefit for the education of Catatumbo, so that these students have better conditions and improve performance”, he said.

Mr. Andrés Peñaranda, commander of the Development and Integral Action Brigade No. 1 of the Colombian Army, said that in the medium term the objective of this type of action is to approach and build trust with the community and, in the long term, achieve greater development and better education in the region, as well as avoiding the forced recruitment of minors.

The schools and health centers’ titles as follow: the Vetas Central Educational Center, Mi Linda Infancia and La Angalia; and the health centers are Bari Indigenous Community and Las Mercedes.

The Catatumbo is a Colombian region bordering Venezuela, where government forces clash with criminal organizations.

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