Global Reach: Grantee Partners

Book Fold

Fundacion Alvaralice


While the national unemployment rate in Colombia in September 2018 was 9.5%, it was higher among young people ages 14-28 (16.7%), especially young women (21.6%). 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. Yet, in the most vulnerable communities, 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 job security and pay.


The Alvaralice Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 in Cali by the Garcés Echavarría siblings in honor of the civic and philanthropic spirit of their parents, Álvaro Garcés Giraldo and Alice Echavarría Olózaga. The organization is committed to a more inclusive and peaceful Colombian society. Since its creation, the Alvaralice Foundation has stood out for developing a model of public-private partnerships that has mobilized resources from the public, private and international cooperation sectors for regional and national projects to improve living conditions of the communities. The organization is best known for developing the We Are Peaceful Cultural Technocenter in Potrero Grande, but since 2014 also operates Rumbo Joven, an employability training program that seeks to combat violence and criminal gang recruitment of disadvantaged young people by providing them (556 so far) with the skills to secure employment and a steady income. The program has been recognized jointly by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) as a model job preparation programs (selected from a group of 11 projects involving 44 institutions from 17 countries).

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 2nd grant to Fundación Alvaralice would support programmatic and institutional level improvements to increase program completion rates and job placement rates for its Rumbo Joven program, an employability and technical training program that equips young people from Cali, Colombia’s most disadvantaged communities with the confidence, life skills, and technical skills to secure formal employment and a steady income.

Where is Fundacion Alvaralice?

Primary Location: Cali


Funded Since: 2018

Grantee shoutouts!
Grants totaling $384,500 approved at EMpower’s Fall Grants Meeting in London!
Posted 12 December 2018
You can support our work with Fundacion Alvaralice and our other grantee partners.

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.