Botnar Healthy Cities for Adolescents Program - Colombia






Cali, Colombia


Start Date: May 1, 2019
End Date: April 30, 2022


Number of schools: 75% of all public schools in Cali


Santiago de Cali population: 2,420,114
Cali adolescent population: 381,703
Percentage of adolescents in Cali: 16%


Violence, self-harm, sexual abuse and overall well-being


Education, safety


Social entrepreneurship, leadership, digital literacy



About Santiago de Cali

Cali is a secondary city with a population of over 2.4 million people. Cali is one of the most important cities in Colombia next to the capital city of Bogota, home to 8 million residents. As the most important economic, industrial and athletics hub in the southwestern region, Cali’s population has been strongly influenced by migration and forced displacement. The city has the largest Afro-Colombian population in the country. 335 neighborhoods Cali represent 98% of the municipality’s population2 . Cali faces unique social and well-being challenges. It has the highest murder rate in the country (nearly 1200 in 2017), and its geographic location means it suffers many of the problems symptomatic of the armed conflict in Colombia (close to Pacific coast towns of Buenaventura and Tumaco, including high poverty areas with lots of drug trafficking and displaced internal refugees.

About Coschool

Coschool SAS is a certified B Company, constituted on September 22, 2014. Being a B Corp, it is a committed to social impact in our work. Over the last 4-5 years, Coschool has established itself as a leading organization in the Colombian Education sector, working across the country in multiple “post-conflict” projects and has built strong partnerships across the private and public sectors. They are well-known for their methodologies, expertise and the capacity of the team. Coschool has worked with more than 50 different clients/partners including the largest Business Foundations of Colombia (Bancolombia, IBM, Alpina for example) and other, public, private and social sector organizations.

Project Summary

Extensive studies on Cali have shown high levels aggression & violence, self-harm, and sexual abuse, particularly amongst 10-15 year olds. Comvos aims improve the well-being of adolescents in Cali through the creation, execution, and scale-up of of a participatory methodology promoting social emotional learning through social innovation. The project seeks to empower youth to lead their schools and communities in the design and implementation of sustainable solutions to school and community problems. The process will develop skills and habits to improve health and well-being of adolescents.

Consortium partners

Public Sector: Secretary of Education Cali (responsible for all public education in Cali).
Private sector: Coschool (Lead) Fundación Women’s World Banking Cali, Fundación Smurfitt Kappa, Comfandi

2 Resilient Cali: A City of Opportunities for Progress, Resilience Strategy. City of Cali

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