Hundreds of children from the most vulnerable areas of the Montelíbano community in Colombia are enjoying a newly-restored Centre for Child Development thanks to some help from our Cerro Matoso operation.

Cerro Matoso donated more than US$500,000 towards rebuilding the centre, which now boasts brand new classrooms, bathrooms, offices and other support facilities, as well as improved outdoor amenities like playgrounds and garden areas.

Speaking at the Centre’s inauguration ceremony, Cerro Matoso Vice President Operations, Ricardo Gaviria, expressed the operation’s commitment to improving education for young people.

"It is an honour to deliver this centre, which will benefit so many children in need," Ricardo said.

"I’m proud to say that over the years we’ve invested more than 45 billion pesos (US$15.4m) in support of education, not only for infrastructure, but also through our scholarship program that today has more than 100 young people studying at universities across the country."

The importance of the new Centre and the investment in education was highlighted by the event’s VIP guests, including Colombia’s First Lady, Maria Clemencia de Santos, who personally thanked Cerro Matoso.

“Thank you, Cerro Matoso. The future of the country is in the hands of everyone, including the private sector,” First Lady de Santos said.

“It is demonstrated that you can work as a team, and all of us who work for childhood must have the peace of mind that we are sowing the seed of peace."

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Colombia's First Lady, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos, thanks Cerro Matoso Vice President Operations, Ricard Gaviria