Technical training for youth

Funding required: $65,244

This project will help: 145 young men and women in Cartagena, Colombia

Estimated completion date: January 2020

Seventeen-year-old Camilo wanders the colourful streets of his coastal hometown—Cartagena, Colombia. In a city of more than 970,000 people, Camilo often feels alone and unsure of what comes next now that he is finished high school. Without any specific vocational skills, Camilo wonders if he will end up like his dad, Juan—unemployed most of the month, but grateful for odd jobs here and there, especially during the busy tourist season.

For Camilo and so many of his peers, the realities of a climbing unemployment rate among young people and high rates of poverty mean choosing between underpaid and casual jobs to contribute to household income or joining the dangerous drug trade. Those who do pursue post-secondary education often drop out to find work to help their families.

You can help change the lives of youth like Camilo by equipping them with technical training so they can succeed in the workplace and achieve their dreams. Armed with strategic vocational skills, young men and women in Cartagena will pursue welding, mechanics, graphic design, accounting, business administration, nursing, etc. By investing in these young people, you will be providing them with 18 months of practical education needed to become economically self-supporting and competitive in the labour market.

Youth who receive opportunities for vocational training will also continue to receive spiritual development at their Compassion centre. 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 vocational training so youth can secure good jobs and become economically self-supporting.

Technical training for youth

Provide young people in Colombia with the relevant vocational skills to enter the workforce with confidence.

Summary: This initiative will help youth in Cartagena, Colombia, acquire income-generating skills so they have the necessary training, experience, knowledge and confidence to enter the workforce within 18 months. By learning valuable skills for a specific career, they will be able to excel in their jobs, improve their quality of life and combat the high unemployment rates plaguing their peers.

  • Child development centres impacted: CO0505, CO0508, CO0517, CO0520, CO0527, CO0529, CO0530, CO0531, CO0532, CO0533, CO0535 and CO0538.
  • The problem: Adolescents in Cartagena, Colombia, are entering adulthood without the relevant training required to secure a stable job that will help release them from the poverty they’ve grown up in. The youth unemployment rate is 18.4 per cent in Colombia and continues to rise. Parents struggling to feed to their children simply cannot afford the fees for post-secondary education. Without opportunities for job skills training, many young people abandon their educational dreams for low-paying, insecure jobs to help their families—or worse, turn to a life of crime.
  • What is provided through this gift:
    • Vocational orientation by a clinical psychologist and three other professionals
    • Tuition for three semesters of training at educational institutes for 145 students
      • Areas of study include: foreign trade, hotel and tourism, cooking, diesel mechanics, graphic design, English, systems analysis and programming, nursing, business administration, accounting, forklift operator, maritime and port administration, welding, child care, occupational health and warehouse assistant.
    • Graduation ceremony for successful students


  • Local contribution: $20,814.44 USD
  • Monitoring: During their studies, students’ overall performance will be monitored.
  • Handling of funds: This proposal will cover the cost of the first three semesters of study. Parents will assume costs such as materials, transportation and uniforms. Each family is responsible for the cost of the fourth semester, but students will learn a savings system so they can save toward paying for their last semester. The Compassion centres have formed alliances and secured discounts on education costs with three education organizations.
  • Follow-up: A graduation ceremony will be held for the young people who complete their academic training.

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.