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About Us

Friends of Colombia for Social Aid (FOCSA) was founded in 1976 by the wife of the then Colombian Ambassador, Doña Lucía Holguín de Vázquez Carrizosa, and became a registered Charity in 1977. In 1998 Baroness Gloria Hooper kindly accepted to become the Patron of the charity. Doña Lucía was FOCSA’s first President, followed by Yolanda Connor, Mariela Ingram, Marina Tafur, Amanda Ardila, Martha Strange, Louise Russ, Andres Monsalve, Clemencia Corradine and Laura Laurence. In 2004 the work of the Charity was formally recognised by the Colombian Government by awarding the Knight's Cross "La Orden del Congreso de Colombia en grado de Caballero". In 2008, a branch of Friends of Colombia for Social Aid was established in Bogotá to help supervise the charity's activities there.

FOCSA's secret of success is its people. They are a fantastic group of volunteers that through their hard work and commitment to helping vulnerable children in Colombia,  raise funds  to buy medical and other essential equipment leaving a minimum amount to cover administrative expenses.

Patrons & Trustees


Baroness Gloria Hooper

Honorary President

Luz Angela Sarmiento

Chairman of Trustees

Felipe Posada


Amanda Ardila


Helen Yaxley


Clemencia Corradine


Maria Parada


Victor Rivera

Executive Committee Members


Xihomara Zentner


Alison Kley

Interim Treasurer

Victor Rivera

Head of Fundraising

Alexandra Aristizabal

Head of Projects

Margarita Gonzalez

Head of Admin

Lucila Clarkson

Head of Events

Myriam Martinez

Volunteers London

Amelita Williams

Ana Sofia Velasco

Andres Monsalve

Catalina Stendall

Clemencia Wiese

Ivonne Higginson

Julie McGrawth

Maria Claudia Carrillo

Maria Teresa Soliman

Mariangela Daza

Martha Strange

Mazilli Restrepo

Sandra Loaiza

Sonia Olaya