FUNDAEC, Colombia

For more than 40 years, Fundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias (FUNDAEC), has dedicated itself to creating capacity within a region so that its population may carry out action and research related to the various processes that make up its social, economic, and cultural life.

About the project

Fundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias (FUNDAEC) is a not for profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1974 in Cali, Colombia. The name translates to the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences.  For more than 40 years, FUNDAEC has dedicated itself to creating capacity within a region so that its population may carry out action and research related to the various processes that make up its social, economic, and cultural life. For every such process, FUNDAEC has endeavored, together with members of local communities, to establish a parallel process of learning, with the aim of transforming daily practices so as to improve the well-being of the entire population.

How we help

In 2012, FUNDAEC established a program called “Supporting Community Leaders Program” which targets youth between 18 – 25 years old. They come from populations that are at risk of falling into drug trafficking, drug addiction, delinquency and other social problems.  The purpose of the program is to support young people in achieving excellence in a trade or profession, which can promote the well being of society, and in strengthening leadership capabilities that inspire others to serve, thereby contributing to the building of prosperous communities. Mona Foundation has begun financially supporting this program as of June 2020.

Supporting Community Leaders Program has been established in three regions of Colombia, and has reached 223 participants and nearly 2,000 direct beneficiaries. A central team of four members , 6 local coordinators and 20 facilitators follow the development of the program. Students participate in the program for a period of four years. The target population of this program is young people who have the desire to strengthen the capacities needed to contribute to the material and spiritual development of their communities by inspiring and motivating others to serve, thus contributing to the creation of a culture of peace.



“Planting hope” shows one of the fruits of the endeavours made by the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Science (FUNDAEC) to contribute to the development of communities in the North of Cauca region in Colombia. Through the voices of those who participated in FUNDAEC’s initial efforts in the 1970s, the documentary demonstrates how scientific thought, spiritual perceptions and traditional knowledge converge in a nurturing experience that elevates the potential that rests in the populations who reside in this region and opens the door to a new dimension of life in the countryside and to the resurgence of hope.

It is customary to think of the creation of an institution in terms of exact definitions of objectives and goals, of the organigrams, procedures, and operative systems. For FUNDAEC, all these organizational arrangements would have to evolve in action and did not need to be formulated according to the day’s fashionable theories of organizational development. As a first step, the group of founders embarked on a long consultative process that would allow them to reach a minimum degree of unity of thought on a series of concepts and principles, which would in turn orient their search for alternative paths of development.

  • Consider the people as potential resources, not as problems
  • Develop human potential through a proper education that acknowledges and promotes human nobility
  • Work for a development that is not conceived as “Modernization”
  • Engage in the search for pertinent knowledge
  • Avoid offering “pre-packaged” solutions
  • Recognize the need for endogenous structures in the region that would connect it to corresponding external structures

Among the processes that have received most attention over the years, and around which a considerable amount of knowledge has been generated, is the one related to education. Much has been learned through carefully executed projects addressing education as well as other relevant fields such as agriculture, community organization and local economy. The knowledge generated from these projects has been brought together to formulate a number of education for development programs. These include:

  • Preparation for Social Action program (PSA)
  • Supporting Community Leaders program
  • Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (SAT)
  • Native Forest Restoration project (Bosque Nativo)
  • Leadership and Community Development program

To date, more than 300,000 youth in Colombia and Latin America have participated in FUNDAEC’s programs.

Support the 2021 needs of this internationally recognized organizing serving the rural youth of Colombia

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2020 Achievements

Face-to-face meetings replaced by online meetings

65 youth (ages 18-25) engaged in the program

6 teachers trained

65 service projects carried out, impacting 539 individuals in 30 communities

Special and specific efforts were made to promote food production, since the pandemic had economic consequences for families in the different communities of Colombia

Have selected a new cohort of 50 youth to begin the 4-year long program

2021 Project Goals

Provide scholarship for 50 youth to complete one year of the Supporting Community Leaders Program

Give a youth a chance!

Give $30 a month to support the training of one youth for a year