Donor: Diageo Foundation
Local Allies: Fundación Carlos y Sonia Haime, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA), Acceso Centro de Formación para el Trabajo (ACCESO), and Fundación Serena del Mar
Beneficiaries: 60 individuals
Location: Manzanillo del Mar and Tierra Baja, Cartagena, Bolívar
Manzanillo del Mar and Tierra Baja are neighborhoods located in the outskirts of Cartagena with overwhelming levels of unemployment and lack of opportunities. It is one of the city’s most vulnerable and underprivileged sectors as 80% of the inhabitants live on less than $1 per day, 52% of them are unemployed, and the average academic level is 8th grade. Among the few adults who have been able to finish high school and enroll in higher education, levels of absenteeism are very high due to the cost of education and transportation. Meanwhile, Cartagena’s unprecedented growth in the tourism industry was expected to generate thousands of new jobs as a 2012 study by the Clinton Foundation estimated that the hospitality sector would grow at a rate of 46%.
Give To Colombia, along with its partners Fundación Carlos y Sonia Haime, ACCESO, and Fundación Serena del Mar, decided to make use of the growth of the local hospitality industry to structure an employability program for individuals within the ages of 18 to 30. Through this program, they would be able to gain technical skills in the areas of bartending, waitressing, kitchen aid, receptionist and administrative assistant, become certified by SENA, learn basic english, complete psychosocial workshops aimed at strengthening soft skills and communication skills, develop a formal resume, and receive psychological support to address any issues that may lead participants to drop out of the program.
Along with providing young adults with the necessary skills, the project also created strategic alliances with potential employers to increase the possibilities of employment for the beneficiaries. Some of the key actors of the hospitality industry from the the area that participated in this joint effort were Hotel Las Americas, Karmairi, Hotel Sonesta, Hotel Radisson Cartagena, Hotel Estelear, and the Dan Dannis Cartagena restaurant, among others.
Learning for Life