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Colombia Colombia: small businesses promote women

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40 years of internal conflict in Columbia has left nearly four million people displaced.
75% of those that have been forced to flee their homes are women and children.

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Colombia Colombia: small businesses promote women

  1. 1. Colombia: small businesses promote women
  2. 2. <ul><li>40 years of internal conflict has left nearly four million people displaced. </li></ul><ul><li>75% of those that have been forced to flee their homes are women and children. </li></ul><ul><li>Our partner SNPS/ Caritas Colombia, supported with EU funding, has provided counselling, legal advice and training to 512 displaced and vulnerable families in southern Colombia. Groups work together on income-generation projects. </li></ul><ul><li>A specific focus has been placed on promoting women in the project. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Alicia Penagos, 32 </li></ul><ul><li>“ This project is an enormous help to us in supporting our families. I have learnt that working together with others through the project I can make things better. I have also learnt to respect my children and my family and be more tolerant.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Nancy Patricia Montilla, 29. </li></ul><ul><li>She has been a widower for 4 years. She has 7 children aged 10, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 years old and a 10-month-old baby. </li></ul><ul><li>“ My day consists of looking after my children, getting them to school and then going to work in El Triunfo School for half the day preparing the lunch for the school children. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have learnt to value others and to share. I have also learnt to value myself and that you can make something of your life.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Maria Serpa Ladines – 52. </li></ul><ul><li>Single mother. Head of the household. Maria is the treasurer of the shoe making cooperative. </li></ul><ul><li>I have always worked selling shoes. Then I turned to dressmaking so that I could work from home. Later on I learnt how to make sandals at home. </li></ul><ul><li>I joined the project through the parish which invited us to join the shoe group and the project developed quickly. Now we have six members. I am the only woman and everything is going well for us. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Maria adds: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thanks to the project we have received training to work as a cooperative, to draw up our statutes and to relate to one another. Now we also have a proper shop to sell our products. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I spend my day looking after my children, dressmaking and making sandals. I think there are a lot of problems in our area such as delinquency, robbery and rape and many young drug addicts, but that the people in the community are also very united and help each other.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Annita. </li></ul><ul><li>The Department of Florencia has the highest number of visually impaired people in Colombia. </li></ul><ul><li>Annita cannot see but she has set up a bag-making business in Florencia called “Bolsas Mis Ojos”, which means “Bags My Eyes”. </li></ul>
  8. 8. “ A few years ago we started learning Braille. It is quite difficult. We also wanted to find jobs but it is difficult to find businesses that will hire blind people. So we came up with the idea to set up our own business making bags. We started to sell them in the streets. “ At first people thought we were out begging but slowly people’s attitudes changed and now we have lots of clients that buy from us such as schools, shops and supermarkets. “ This experience is a new light in my life. It has made us feel valued. Before people thought we were useless.”
  9. 9. <ul><li>Marta Environmental Group “PRECOMA” has 8 members, including 2 local people and 6 people who have been displaced from other communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Marta is the leader of the group. The group aren’t only interested in their business but they also want to work with the local community to make them more aware of the environment and the need to recycle. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have also started thinking about the future and how we can benefit the community. We would like to set up a children’s nursery so that parents that go out and collect scrap metal and leave their children in safe place” . </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Amparo Bustamante, 44. </li></ul><ul><li>She was forced to flee her home with her daughter Mallerly when illegal armed groups burnt down her house in the countryside. She now lives in Neiva with her daughter Mallerly who is now 8 years old. Her home is a little shack made out of wood and plastic. There is only one bedroom and she has no toilet or running water. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Up until recently I made a living by selling empanadas (a savoury pastry filled with meat and vegetables) on the street corner. Now thanks to the training I have set up a restaurant with other families. I really hope it will be a success. There are many problems for young people here such as drugs so I hope this business will give me the opportunity to provide a better life for my daughter and also to find a new home. I love cooking so I know I will enjoy my work.” </li></ul>

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