Cúcuta, August 9, 2021 – It’s almost time to inaugurate the new CIAMI in Villa del Rosario, a training center to be administered by the Missionaries of Saint Charles Scalabrinians. This labor training center for migrants will be the missionaries’ new bet on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, to welcome a certain number of migrants, displaced persons, deportees, and asylum seekers to give them an occupation with which they can sustain themselves.
“Dedicate all your zeal for the good of society, since the spirit of communion increases and strengthens the bonds of fraternity, supplies the weakness of individuals and repairs the unforeseen blows of misfortune. The brother, helped by the brother, is like a fortified city,” Walking with Scalabrini, 1st edition, 2014.
This year 2021, paths are opened for the regularization of migrants, allowing an official stay for the migrant and certified job training; a range of possibilities to integrate into Colombian society and enjoy the rights like any citizen of the country.
These actions favor Venezuelan migrants and returnees, who are at the epicenter of this migratory phenomenon, and it’s the missionaries who assume the commitment in an integral way, not only with humanitarian assistance but also giving a long-term response from education.
The population that stays in the training center will have as a requirement to enroll in one of the courses offered with international education entities such as Microsoft, Google, and Cisco, who will deliver the approval and certification at the end of the studies. This guarantees the migrants to be at home until they finish the course.
The other major component that they will have during their stay is reception, food, psychosocial support, and legal guidance. Holistically accompanying the migrant, is the basis of the congregational charism.
We want to change the paradigm of the migrant by giving them the tools to emerge as the Director for Social Works of Scalabrinians, Fr. Flor María Rigoni, says, “We do not want to be just another ring in a chain that keeps turning, we want to provide a solution definitive to the migratory problem; even if it is a drop in the desert, to say here desert you do not advance anymore.”
A fundamental solution to the migratory problem at the border implies true and long-term answers, we hope that begging and labor exploitation of migrants in the country for not having legalized studies in Colombia ends by obtaining these certifications in photography, marketing, electricity, pastries, among other courses with which the center will start in Villa del Rosario.
The missionaries in the city of Cúcuta had assumed the commitment of training vulnerable children and young people in the neighborhoods of communes 6 and 7 where they have advocated for more than 33 years in the construction of schools and colleges in the neighborhoods. Giving the community what is known today as the Camilo Daza School with seven educational venues with more than 4,500 students.
The Scalabrini Training Center located in the Camilo Daza neighborhood was also a response at the time to the most vulnerable sectors of the area where job training was given for young people and adults in the skill of dressmaking, which by 2021 the offer will be expanded for the local population, migrants, and displaced people.
“Because I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in,” Matthew 25:35.