After months of training at the premises of CIAMI in Cucuta and Villa del Rosario, five hundred and twenty-four students received certifications in entrepreneurship, fashion and design, sewing, manicure and pedicure, hairdressing, graphic design, and PowerPoint.
Villa del Rosario, Colombia, September 19th, 2022 – Supported by the Global Solidarity Fund (GSF) and led by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) and with the academic support of the Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores, the Scalabrinian Center CIAMI has certified five hundred and twenty-four students in seven different courses: entrepreneurship, fashion and design, sewing, manicure and pedicure, hairdressing, graphic design, and power point. The objective of this program is to offer Venezuelan migrants and Colombians in vulnerable conditions the possibility of acquiring or developing skills in specific knowledge, thus obtaining a certification that leads to their socioeconomic stability and in turn contribute to the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual development of the hosting society and region.
The graduation ceremony took place at the CIAMI premises in Villa del Rosario on September 16th, and the event had the participation of more than six hundred people. Participants of the ceremony included Fr. Flor Maria Rigoni, Director of CIAMI; Dr. Angela María Merchán Basabe, Rector of Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores, the SIMN and CIAMI team, and the graduates who prepared a fashion show for the attendees. In addition, representatives of the PMA, GIZ, and UNHCR were also present at the ceremony.
Implementing specific programs for the integration and local development focusing on the vocational certification of migrants and residents of the host communities constitutes the central strategic goal of SIMN. The following day after the graduation ceremony, seventy-five graduates received seed capital to start their own businesses. Scalabrinians believe vocational certification and seed capital is the best way to position migrants as political actors and change makers in host societies, going from local actions to global impact.
The different services the Scalabrinian centers provide to people on the move need technical and financial support, especially the welcoming centers and job incubators like CIAMI. The Scalabrinians have been providing a comprehensive response to the different migratory flows that have occurred in the border region of Cúcuta and Venezuela for more than forty-three years, strengthening the response capacity from the emergency level to the concrete responses for their efficient integration, aiming at mitigating the risks and vulnerabilities.
«We want to tell the brotherhood that the poor have the intelligence to get ahead, that ability is not measured with strata but with dignity, and when we give the poor knowledge, we give them being and power,» stated Fr. Flor Maria Rigoni, Director of CIAMI.
Thanks to the management carried out, it has been possible to establish an agreement with Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores. In 2022 Scalabrinians in Bogotá and Cúcuta, Colombia have been able to benefit more than nine hundred people with skill certification and self-employment. The Scalabrinians, supported by international organizations, such as the Global Solidarity Fund, and other key partners empower migrants, refugees, and displaced persons in Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe through comprehensive responses that include emergency services, legal advice, psychosocial support, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.