While the national unemployment rate in Colombia in 2018 hovers around 10%, it is slightly higher among young men ages 14-28 (13.7%) and more than double for young women (23%). 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. Women face the additional challenge of gender discrimination because many professions are traditionally thought of for males, consigning women to jobs in the informal sector that provide less security and pay.
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 the poor (mainly young people, women, minority groups and community organizations). Director Luz Elena Arango has 30+ years of experience managing social projects and the gender expert, Claudia Ximena Cubillos has 20 years of relevant experience. CEDECUR seeks to improve the living conditions of the populations they serve through research, consulting, technical assistance, training and implementation of programs.
Their four areas of work with youth include a leadership academy, environmental training, job readiness and income generation training, and agricultural training. What sets CEDECUR’s “Brindamos Oportunidades” livelihoods training apart from other vocational training programs is that it also provides life skills/personal development training and individual emotional support for each participant, helping them overcomes challenges, complete 3-month internships to gain hands on experience, and secure employment postinternship. This ongoing support makes a big difference to the young people CEDECUR serves and contributes to program success.
EMpower’s 6th grant to CEDECUR will support training for 26 young people (including 16 young women) in automotive and motorbike repair skills and life skills, provide ongoing follow-up for 70 program graduates and targeted support to two graduates’ microenterprises, while also working with families, employers and local government to create a more supportive environment for participants to pursue their career goals (including non-traditional careers for young women).
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.