Guadalajara de Buga - Valle del Cauca – Colombia
Education and training for children, young people and disadvantaged adults
THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE
Colombia’s past has been tarnished by forced displacement of farmers, indigenous peoples and persons of African descent due to the civil war, the violence of criminal gangs and drug trafficking.
Violence during the civil war has led to the displacement of over 8 million Colombians. Colombia currently has the 2nd highest amount of internally displaced persons in the world.
The city of Buga, 70km to the north of Cali, has a population of 100,000 people and a wide variety of living conditions. Buga was faced with the phenomenon of displacement when the city began to see the arrival of peasant farmers from the surrounding countryside in the early 2000s. These displaced persons gathered in the north of the city where there is a lack of schools as well as health and social infrastructure.
Our Emmaus community has been working with vulnerable children, adolescents, adults and victims of the conflict in this part of the city since 2009.
THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE
Our Emmaus community’s goal is to help the most vulnerable and to contribute towards educating the people of Buga. We are convinced that education is the means to help people out of poverty and thus we have set up an educational programme for children, young people and adults.
20 children aged between 4 and 6 years old have been able to have access to pre-school courses. 30 adolescents who were displaced due to the conflict in the countryside have been brought back into education and the goal is to have these young people get their baccalaureat qualification.
35 young people and adults have been given training in basic IT, sewing, crafts, manicures, pedicures and using the Internet.
We have been raising awareness with children, young people and adults about environmental issues in order to guarantee a better environment for the generations to come.
WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?
With the educational and environmental struggle. We have one member of staff, professor Liliana Pinto; one coordinator, Adíela Mercado; 3 volunteers and also the parents.
For the struggle for a peaceful world: we have the support of the lawyer Dr Gerardo Carvajal and 2 volunteers from the association for the Development of Farmers and Displaced Persons (ADSA).
WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?
Thanks to our educational initiatives disadvantaged children in the north of the city have had access to school and 45 young people have got their baccalaureat qualification.
Thanks to the partnership with the SENA 27 mothers were trained and have since found work.
Thanks to the awareness raising campaigns about environmental issues led in our school and in the companies where we collect recyclable materials, we have seen a change in behaviour with solid waste. Given time this will have an impact on the environment.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE?
WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS?
The biggest need at the moment is to increase our collection work in order to have the resources necessary to strengthen all of our educational, social and environmental work.