21 januari 2006
A jobtraining and a microcredit in the slums of Bogotà
The Colombian ngo CDA provides education, not only for the poorest people in Bogotà, but also in Cartagena, a city that harbours many internally displaced people, victims of the ongoing civil war. In 2003 CDA decided to complement its basic, secondary and vocational education with training in business skills, to deliver students with better qualifications to find a job. Besides that, job mediation was added, following a successful example in Ethiopia. In 2005 some forty students managed to find a steady job through this mediation service. And another means to help people getting started is a microcredit programme. This appeared necessary as most poor people have no access to regular financial services.
Ditteke den Hartog, desk officer Job and Income of Woord en Daad: "The same concept of Job & Business Centers is applied in countries like Haïti, Burkina Faso, South-Africa, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Philippines and India. We have the impression that it is a quite unique concept, not only because people are guided in finding a job, or setting up their own business, but also because through the Job & Business Centers the study programme is adjusted to the demands of the labor market."
In two years some sixty new businesses have been started in Bogotà and Cartagena. One of them is a bakery, run by the former student Ricardo Rincón (18) and his parents. Both he and his father followed a vocational course. They are joined by a cousin, who had some experience in a bakery. With a small credit of 380 euro they bought some machines and furniture for a lunchroom, to make the place more attractive than those of their competitors. The business now provides an income for four people.
P+ Webtip: Woord en Daad