Vidas-Móviles was created with the main goal of improving the living conditions and poverty level of families that have been internally displaced in the region of Bogota called Ciudad Bolivar. Each year students of Vidas-Móviles aim to improve the lives of 700 families by providing accompaniment, mentoring and care to displaced persons, in addition to strengthening their skills and creating effective linkages to services and commodities in the System of Integral Attention to the Displaced Population. While helping to reintegrate victims of human rights abuses into society, students of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana hone their skills of counseling, psychological assistance, and social support.
Vidas-Móviles was launched in July 2006 by the Medical School of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the Colombian Association of Medicine Faculties (ASCOFAME). It original objective was to reinstate basic human rights of residents living in Ciudad Bolivar. In order to deliver these basic rights, a combination of students from different disciplines, including medicine, nursing, theology, psychology, microbiology, nutrition, and business, was created to provide community and health services for the region. Along with assistance from the university, these efforts are also supported by a local teaching hospital—Hospital Universitario San Ignacio—and a nonprofit organization devoted to health services—JAVESALUD. The outcome of these combined efforts has been a reemergence of civil society in Bogota and enhanced skill level of students taking part in the program.
The main objective of Vidas-Móviles is to strengthen, support and mentor individuals and families in situations of forced displacement in the Ciudad Bolivar for the restitution of their welfare conditions and rights. Research conducted by Vidas-Móviles showed that 2100 families were displaced in Ciudad Bolivar due to armed conflict. In order to address issues of this community, the program focuses on improving two basic human needs: human rights and health promotion. To do address these needs and utilize the skills of university students, participants in Vidas-Móviles take on three distinct tasks. The first task focuses on service objectives, which help reinstate missing human rights. The second focuses on educational objectives, which aid in the formation of young professionals of different careers, teach them how to interact in a multidisciplinary environment, and expose them to the unseen reality of the internal forced displacement problem in Colombia. The third objective involves a research component, enabling students to generate new knowledge regarding the problems that are present in the population displacement and to look for possible answers to these problems.
Vidas-Móviles enables students from multiple disciplines to assist a community in great need. While creating a more stable environment for displaced persons, students of the program also enhance their skills and knowledge learned at the university by putting those skills into practice. Vidas-Móviles notes the kinds of knowledge a student gains through participation in the program. First, students gain a great understanding of the reality of Colombia, allowing them to recognize the struggles fellow Colombians face. Second, students are able to put in practice many theoretical concepts from their intended careers in order to help displaced persons. Third, students learn from one another, as they exchange experiences and expertise with those from different fields of study. Finally, students learn the importance of teamwork and how to utilize the strengths of all team members in order to achieve the best possible results.
Vidas-Móviles not only serves the greater need of the community of Ciudad Bolivar, it also enhances the knowledge of student participants that can be applied to future careers. Vidas-Móviles serves as an excellent example of service-learning by addressing needs of a damaged community while fostering greater community engagement amongst students of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Visit the Vidas-Móviles website>>