Summit for a World Without Orphans in Colombia 2017
31 January - 3 February 2017, Bogota, Colombia
Summit for a World Without Orphans was held 31 January - 3 February 2017 in Bogota, Colombia. It was the first gathering of its kind in South America and brought together delegates from Colombia and several other countries in the region and beyond. The event was hosted by Fundación Internacional Maranata and Colombia Without Orphans.
“We are grateful to Rafael and Beth Afanador and team for their passion, commitment, and hard work in organising this ground-breaking event. The vision for every child to grow up in a loving, permanent family is spreading and there is tremendous potential in Colombia and the entire Latin America region” said Ruslan Maliuta of the World Without Orphans movement.
The summit started with an opening gala attended by civil, military and church authorities, as well as a select group of business leaders and non-profit organisations, with a total of 260 participants. It was followed by a conference with 233 delegates, that included two intense days of plenaries, discussions, and workshops with speakers Stevan Bartel, Philip Aspegren, Nick Vujicic, Ruslan Maliuta, Becca Johnson, Tim Ursiny, Jodi Jackson Tucker, Arturo Barrientos, and others. The sessions focused on analysis and reflection on family-based care for orphans and vulnerable children and also issues like impact of trauma, teamwork, role of the church, etc. Among other things, delegates worked on the development of public laws needed to create a culture of adoption in Colombia.
During the summit a group of delegates from Latin American countries met to share ideas and discuss the formation of a regional platform for continued communication, experience exchange and collaboration. The countries represented were Colombia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama.
The summit also included a benefit concert, Extending Your Arms for a Colombia Without Orphans with singer Adriana Bottina, speaker Nick Vujicic and over 2,000 people in attendance.