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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, Laura Laurence, Xihomara Zentner and currently Patricia Marulanda.  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” (during Amanda Ardila´s presidency from 1998 to 2008).  In 2007, a branch of FOCSA was established in Bogotá to help implement  the  UK  charity´s activities in Colombia. Maria Cristina Silva de Kley is the current president of FOCSA Colombia.

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

FOCSA has no paid staff, therefore the administrative costs are minimal.

Patrons & Trustees


Baroness Gloria Hooper

Chairman of Trustees

Felipe Posada


Amanda Ardila


Clemencia Corradine


Maria Parada


Silvia Eberstein

Accounts Independent Examinor

Jehangir Ghandhi

Accounts Adviser

Lou Russ

Executive Committee Members


Patricia Marulanda


Sonia Olaya


Diana Herrera

Head of Projects

Margarita Gonzalez

Head Fundraising

Alexandra Aristizabal

Head of Events

Myriam Martinez

Head of Admin

Lucila Clarkson

Medical Adviser

Maria Claudia Carrillo

Medical Adviser

Catalina Stendall

Volunteers London

Alison Kley

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

General Information - UK:

FOCSA operates in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements of the United Kingdom and Colombia. Below are the recent Management and Financial reports submitted to the Charity Commission in the UK: