Primero lo Primero
(First thing’s first) is a private and public partnership created in 2011 by a group of organizations interested in the development and wellbeing of vulnerable early childhood in Colombia. In synergy with the National Early Childhood Development (ECD) Strategy: De Cero a Siempre (From cero to forever), led by the Nation’s First Lady, María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos, the main objective of this partnership is to contribute to the expansion of coverage of ECD in Colombia. The alliance achieves this by building, equipping and making Early Childhood Centers (ECC) operational in vulnerable regions of the country.
This initiative was born thanks to the important contributions of the Ministry of Education, the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), along with the interest and support of more than 30 public and the private sector institution. Moreover, this initiative was possible, thanks to the vision, commitment and inspiration of its founding members: the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation, Carulla-aieoTU Foundation, Barefoot Foundation and ALAS Foundation.
This alliance set ambitious goals to begin with. In addition to contributions made by partners in the public and private sector, the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation made a 20 million USD donation and the Barefoot Foundation will ensure the continued education of these children in the school system. Acting as a catalyst for action in Latin America, ALAS Foundation nationally and internationally socialized this initiative, generating additional support from new allies.
In addition to their financial contributions, Carulla-aeioTU Foundation will undertake the challenge of running the ECCs in the short and medium term. A total of $45,500,000 USD has been gathered for the building, endowment and the cost of the first year of operation of the first 9 centers. In phase two, 11 additional centers are expected to be delivered. As of today this alliance has built and delivered 14 fully functional centers that provide comprehensive care to more than 7,637 children under age five in vulnerable areas of the country
(Barranquilla, Atlántico; Carmen de Bolívar, Bolivar; Santa Marta, Magdalena; Quibdó, Chocó; Cundinamarca, Bogotá y Medellín, Antioquia).
Primero lo Primero’s
main objective is aligned with the National Government’s initiatives (De Cero a Siempre) which seeks to ensure quality comprehensive care to vulnerable children across the country. Shakira, the founder and Honorary President of Barefoot Foundation and also the founder and activist of ALAS Foundation, has highlighted that: “With Primero lo Primero
, we start making the dream of guaranteeing that our Colombian children, under age five, have basic nutritional, educational, health and early learning security during the most crucial period of their lives a REALITY. This alliance reaffirm that the best social work is done when the private sector decides to join the public sector, maximizing resources and efforts”.