The Bright Kites Foundation

Our Story

Our Beginnings

The Bright Kites Foundation was founded in 2018 by a group of former volunteers of the Colombian Ministry of Education’s English language programme ‘Colombia Bilingüe’ in conjunction with ‘Heart for Change’. The foundation aims to inspire and encourage students from public schools in some of the toughest neighbourhoods in the country.

Our unique ambassador programme awards students the opportunity to travel to a new continent, experience a different culture, practice their English skills and make friends from all over the world. We hope that on returning to Colombia our ambassadors will have the confidence to believe in their own abilities and strive for success.


Our Purpose

In a survey of over 1000 Colombian people when asked why they chose to study English, 48% stated that it was for university and 47% highlighted the importance of English for improved employment prospects.*

For Colombia, education has become an important pillar for the country’s road to continued economic growth and political stability. Since the early 2000s there has been a focus on creating a standardised education system, with the overarching aim of leading to a better-educated, English-speaking workforce. 

The National Bilingual Programme in Colombia launched in 2004 emphasising English language learning and gained traction as part of the country’s National Development Plan 2014-2018 called ‘Todos por un nuevo pais’ – ‘All for a new country’. Objectives of the programme can be seen below.

The number of English speakers in Colombia is growing considerably, however, the availability of affordable quality instruction remains a challenge. Following the end of the ‘Colombia Billingüe’ programme, the Bright Kites Foundation was set up to help continue some of this good work and offer students from public schools a chance to excel.

*British Council, English in Colombia: an examination of policy, perceptions and influencing factors, May 2015

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Objectives of the programme can be translated from Spanish: 

To have citizens who are capable of communicating in English, in order to be able to insert the country within processes of universal communication, within the global economy, and cultural openness, through [the adopting of] internationally comparable standards.

Our Team

Our team met while participating in the Formadores Nativos Extranjeros’ initiative. This programme brought native speakers to public-schools (non-fee paying) nationwide to support English teachers and aid English language development.  

We believe that young people are important leaders of change and we want to develop English language ambassadors to continue the programme’s good work.




Teaching placement: Medellin

School: IE San Pablo, Manrique 

Based in: London 

Job: Founder @ Roots Up Languages 

Education: German and Hispanics at University of Nottingham. Incoming PGCE student at UCL Institute of Education.

BKF Role: Responsible for fundraising events, external partnerships and relationships with schools

Teaching placement: Cali

School: Celmira Bueno de Orejuela

Based in: London 

Job: Civil Servant

Education: War Studies/International Political Economy at KCL

BKF Role: Responsible for fundraising events, external partnerships and management of grant applications

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Teaching placement: Pereira

School: I.E. Aquilino Bedoya

Based in: London

Job: Renewable Energy Underwriting

Education: MSc Environmental Economics at LSE & BA Economics and Geography at Lancaster

BKF Role: Responsible for partnerships and digital/general strategy

Teaching placement: Medellin

School: IE San Pablo, Manrique 

Based in: Seattle, Washington USA 

Job: Fundee at The Bright Kites Foundation 

Education: Spanish and Education, Learning & Society at the University of Washington. Incoming graduate student at the University of Washington for a masters in teaching Spanish.

BKF Role: Social Media, Public Outreach, Mentor for ambassadors




Teaching placement: Cali

School: I.E Alvaro Echeverry Perea

Based in: New York, USA 

Job: Account Executive at Spotify

Education: BA English Language and Literature, Binghamton University

BKF Role: Managing corporate outreach and external relationships




Teaching Placement: Medellín

School Name:

Based in: Honduras

Job: In-country director for BECA

Education: European Studies with Spanish at University of Manchester and Masters in  International Development at University of Amsterdam

BKF role: Responsible for managing relationships with schools and grant applications

Teaching Placement: Cali

School Name: Institución Educativa Politécnico Boyacá

Based in: London

Job: PDI Account Executive 

Education: Undergraduate in Politics at Nottingham Trent University and Masters in International Development at University of Amsterdam

BKF role: Responsible for PR, fundraising and logistics in London

Quotes from the team:

“The students at my school were some of the most charming and creative kids I have ever met – their optimism even when things were tough was something that really moved me.”


“I can’t wait to see how much we can help not only improve the students’ English but also their future career prospects!”


“I’m grateful to have worked with students and teachers who came to school with a smile everyday and showed genuine interest in getting to know me and my culture, and teaching me about theirs.”


“Many of us have access to good education, career and travel, while the majority of the students we taught can only dream of these possibilities.”

Our Partners