While the national unemployment rate in Colombia is 18.9% for young people ages 15-24, in Cali it is double that: 39.5% among young people ages 15 to 29. One factor is that young people overall lack technical expertise required for the increasingly specialized labor market. This general lack of skills means they are only able to find temporary/low paying work, which rarely leads to long-term employment. Still, in the most vulnerable sectors of Cali, many youth are expected to contribute to their household’s income. Without viable job prospects, many young people turn to criminal groups and gangs, which offer them an easy and lucrative way to make money, but often lead to violent and illegal activity. Women face the additional challenge of gender discrimination because many professions are traditionally thought of as jobs for males, consigning women to jobs in the informal sector that are less secure and pay less.
CEDECUR, the Education and Research Center for Urban and Rural Community Development, was founded in 1982 by a consortium of 7 organizations to develop intersectoral community participation models with different sectors of the poor, mainly aimed at young people ages 14-25, women, minority groups and community organizations. CEDECUR seeks to improve the living conditions of the populations they serve through research, consulting, technical assistance, training and implementation of programs and projects. Their four areas of work with youth include: a leadership academy, environmental training, job readiness training and income generation training, and agricultural training. CEDECUR has trained over 1,000 youth through its leadership academy, trained over 200 youth in environment & gardening, provided seed money for 170 youth businesses, and supported youth’s environmental projects in 10 communities.
EMpower’s 4th grant enables CEDECUR to train young people in automotive and motorbike repair skills and life skills, work with families and employers to create a more supportive environment for participants to pursue their career goals, and work with employers to support and employ more gender equitable policies.
Primary Location: Cali
Funded Since: 2013
Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.