Help youth in Colombia start small business

Funding required: $43,136.10

This project will help:50 youth and their families from five centres in Buenaventura, Colombia

Estimated completion date: March 5, 2019

Andres* lives in Buenaventura, a small city on Colombia’s Pacific coast and home to the country’s largest port. Despite being Colombia’s gateway to the Pacific, Buenaventura is one of the country’s poorest cities, and its location has brought violent conflicts over land, illegal mining, drug-trafficking and other criminal activity.

Andres has struggled to complete his education because, like so many other youth in his community, he is expected to help support his family. Poverty and Buenaventura’s high unemployment rate have made it difficult for families to earn more than a subsistence income. Many of Andres’ peers do not go to school, many have become involved with drug cartels and some have disappeared. To help provide for his family, Andres washes windshields at traffic lights or collects reusable items from the garbage dump to sell in town.

Because of limited resources and a lack of skilled teachers, quality secondary education and vocational training opportunities are rare. Youth like Andres are trapped in a cycle of low socioeconomic mobility and are often discouraged by those who have tried to break out of the cycle and have failed.

But it doesn’t have to stay like this. You can help five church partners provide holistic alternatives to these young people through professional technical training. This initiative will give youth the technical and entrepreneurial skills they need to help them start their own businesses and be self-supporting.

Youth who receive opportunities for vocational training will also continue to receive spiritual development at their Compassion centres. This is an important aspect of Compassion’s holistic program, which seeks to nurture Christian leadership. Youth participate weekly in our holistic development curriculum, facilitated by caring Christian community members. They study the Bible, develop Christ- like character, learn leadership skills, serve their communities in love and participate in Christian worship and prayer. Thus, youth are discipled to become Christian leaders who will influence their communities for Christ.

Give the gift of entrepreneurial training and empower youth to provide for themselves and their families.

Entrepreneurship training

Help youth in Colombia start small businesses and become self-sufficient.

Summary: This initiative will allow five churches to train and develop entrepreneurial and marketing skills for 50 highly vulnerable young people from Buenaventura. They’ll learn valuable skills and will have the opportunity to create small businesses so they can support themselves and their families.

  • Child development centres impacted: CO418, CO419, CO436, CO437 and CO438
  • The problem: Buenaventura’s prime location on the coast of Colombia has meant decades of conflict over land disputes, particularly by criminal organizations groups. This has had a profound impact on the sociocultural structure and economy of the community. Though it has made attempts, the government has been unable to adequately cope with the actions of these criminal organizations. The unemployment rate is 40 per cent, and what little income people do earn is not enough to meet their basic needs. Quality of education is also low and adolescents lack programs or activities attractive enough to promote their stay in entrepreneurial training. As a result, young people choose to work as unskilled labour or risk joining illegal groups to obtain an income to help support their families.
  • What is provided through this gift:
    • Skills assessment of 50 youth in the areas of agriculture, hairdressing and beauty, kitchen, wood processing, port training and construction
    • Professional entrepreneurship and marketing workshops by a SENA (National Learning Service) instructor
    • Support, counselling and guidance on business opportunities
    • Workshops led by an interdisciplinary team consisting of a pastor and church team, and a psychologist and/or social worker:
      • Creating business plans, work habits, marketing and financial saving techniques
    • Special event for youth to exhibit their new businesses
    • Workshops for parents
  • Local contribution: $2,538.38
  • Monitoring: The social professional and a delegate of the interdisciplinary team will submit quarterly and final reports on the progress of each beneficiary.
  • Handling of funds: Members of the interdisciplinary team will conduct home visits to verify the progress of the youth and their families.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.