Shakira and Juanes

 Key Biscayne Portal, PDF Version 

Give to Colombia Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary with its annual auction, which this year was supported by Shakira, Juanes, former Colombian soccer star Carlos ‘el pibe’ Valderrama and former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, among others great figures of the country who wanted to join in helping needy people in their country.This year, the award from the event held at the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach consisted of the intervention of 100 Colombian pesos bills that the Foundation had distributed to stars and different personalities of the country so that they could create them.

The result was a display of creativity in the bills, which were auctioned for between $200 and $3,000. At the end of the night the collection of the event reached about 200,000 dollars.

Keybis attended the solidarity night together with Angela Tafur, the founder and executive director of the Foundation.

Angela, born in Colombia, is married with three children and has lived in Key Biscayne for 10 years.

When we asked her about what inspired her to create Give to Colombia, she told us her incredible story.

“My father was a senator in Colombia, and he created the law by which drug traffickers were extradited to the United States to stand trial.”

“When a 16-year-old boy took my father’s life, my family did a great exercise of forgiveness. These boys are not to blame for having been raised from the age of seven within the guerrilla, where they do not have access to education, nor to be with their family because they are forced to live that.”

“My country, unfortunately, is one of the countries with the most inequality in the world, and the one with the most antipersonnel mines in its territory (because of the conflict with the FARC guerrillas).”

“I decided to fight to improve, give my grain of sand, and be able to offer other possibilities to people, that’s how I started with the Foundation. I always had a social passion and that was my father’s legacy,” Angela told us.

Today,  Give to Colombia Foundation, on its 10th anniversary, has raised more than 20 million dollars, and channels its resources towards marginalized populations so that they have access to education or technical education. They also offer micro-credits for women who are in charge of their families. There are many disabled because of anti-personnel mines and they manage to help them in different ways. The foundation collaborates with 260,000 people directly, and monitors the good use of the money they receive as aid.

Angela comments to Keybis: “When I came to live in the United States, they offered me to work in a corporation as a lawyer, but I couldn’t travel permanently, so I decided to start with the Foundation. I made a platform from here to send resources to Colombia. My first donation was given to me by Microsoft and with that money we set up a center for demobilized guerrillas, and later other donors came with that example”

Every year, the Foundation holds the event “Colombia Gives Back” where it thanks its donors for their collaboration and shows where the funds have been used.

Angela evokes one of the most shocking cases in which they have provided help. That of a systems engineer father who has his deaf-mute daughter. The father created a computer system whereby when the doorbell rings or there are different external sounds, images are made on the screen, so his daughter can communicate.

Angela tells us that for this project she won an award because the system helped many parents who have children with disabilities.”Today it is used throughout Latin America and it is already being translated into English.”

“It fills us with pride that through Give to Colombia we can change the lives of so many people.”

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Give to Colombia Shakira

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 Give To Colombia Valderrama
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Angela Tafur, founder of Give to Colombia, with her daughter Cristina Barco.