After working in Colombia for nearly 30 years, we opened our HelpAge office in Bogotá in 2009.

We support older people affected by the ongoing internal armed conflict, as well as working in the areas of health, food security, legal advice, psychosocial support and shelter.

In the past year, we have helped more than 15,000 older people through our programmes across Colombia.

Life story: Nicolasa, 63

Nicolosa lost four of her six children in the Colombia conflict (c) Jonas Wresch

(c) Jonas Wresch/HelpAge International

Nicolasa wants reparations for the death of her children

Nicolasa lost four of her six children in Colombia's conflict.The first was murdered in 1996, another disappeared in 1998 and she has yet to hear what happened to him. Then in 2011 an armed group killed the third. Her family decided enough was enough and they fled for what they perceived to be safety in Buenaventura. But the violence continues to haunt them, and in 2014 the fourth child was killed, just next to their house.
The government has recognised only one of the four deaths, but HelpAge's support, Nicolasa is working with a lawyer to claim reparations as a victim of the conflict. This will help her to provide food and shelter for her remaining children and grandchildren.
"Despite all the suffering I keep dreaming and having faith in God. I dream of having my own home again, and to go back in time to when my kids were alive," said Nicolasa.
Supporting older people in Colombia

Over the last year we have carried out work in several areas to support older people in Colombia.


  • In Bogotá and Montes de María, we have provided mental health counseling to over 6,500 older people and their families as principal care providers.


  • We have supported 860 indigenous Awá to claim their rights.


  • We have contributed to research on healthy ageing, financial services for older people and older people as a labour force. This will feed in to future advocacy action. 

Emergency support

  • We have provided humanitarian assistance to over 6,000 older people, including emergency food and essential items, counselling, healthcare, food security projects and legal advice to those displaced so that they can access government support as victims of the conflict.

What next?

  • We will provide humanitarian aid to older people displaced by conflict, including food security activities, psycho-social care and better access to drinking water.
  • We will strengthen indigenous communities through supporting them in public participation and claiming their rights.
  • We will continue to promote the Age Demand Action campaign and call for better healthcare, the end of elder abuse and the enforcement of of older people's rights.

Audio slideshow: 50 years of conflict 

Our Affiliates

Provida Colombia, Fundación Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones del Trabajo (CESTRA)

Our partners

Red Tiempos de Envejecimiento Activo y Digno, Fundación Red de Desarrollo y Paz de los Montes de Maria, Fundación Familiar Alzheimer Colombia (Afacol)Comitato Internazionale per lo sviluppo dei popoliCorpoManiguaUnidad Indígena del Pueblo AwáFundación Saldarriaga Concha.  

Our donors

European Commission - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO)European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, Emergency Response Fund, Pfizer, Metlife, Age International.

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Striking facts

  • Colombia is one of the fastest ageing countries in Latin America - 10% of the population is over 60.
  • Social protection programmes reach less than a quarter of older people and more than 40% of older people have no income at all.

  • Nearly three-quarters of the older people affected by the Colombian conflict have been forcibly displaced.


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HelpAge International Bogota - Colombia

Calle 39 Bis A N° 28A - 19. Barrio - La Soledad

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