A year of deep reflection and demonstrable successes


Friday, 14 January 2022


Fundación Alvaralice

By: María Eugenia Garcés Echavarría
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alvaralice Foundation


We closed 2021 with mixed feelings. This was a difficult period for the country and especially for the city of Cali. COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the poorest families. Children fell behind in their studies, families lost sources of income and many young people are looking for work in a weakened and competitive labor market. The vandalism and blockades Cali experienced slowed economic recovery and triggered a lot of violence. However, in this difficult context, the Alvaralice Foundation was able to expand its programs and achieve important results that have helped many people find opportunities to improve their living conditions.

With Rumbo Joven, for example, we were able to help more than 150 young people from marginalized neighborhoods to focus their life plans and acquire the skills required for formal employment. Among them, almost one hundred found formal jobs and many of those who graduated at the end of the year are in the process of finding employment. These are some of the best results that the Rumbo Joven program has had since it began, just when young people are asking for more opportunities and at such a difficult time for the economy. In 2022 we expect to double the number of participants in Rumbo Joven to reach 300.

Abriendo Caminos was a response to the increased levels of violence seen in the region. From the original pilot project implemented in two neighborhoods in Cali, we went on to work in 50 additional zones in Cali, Palmira and Buenaventura. Almost one hundred inhabitants of these sectors have been trained as “violence interrupters” and today they are mediating and helping to contain conflicts to avoid  tragic outcomes that perpetuate the cycles of violence. Hundreds of young people received much needed support to help transform their lives and find opportunities outside of illegality.

We received almost one hundred applications for the 2021 civic award program, which will award twenty prizes of 10 million pesos each to strengthen community initiatives that are contributing to the well-being of their communities.

The Tecnocentro Somos Pacífico was open all year-round in 2021 and increased its number of users at a time when schools, children’s centers and other community spaces were closed. Through its programs, thousands of children, youth and adults found a safe space where they could take advantage of the free time resulting from the closure of other institutions and continue their learning process in the arts.

All this has been possible thanks to the spirit of collaboration and alliances that emerged in the days following the riots. The Compromiso Valle initiative and all those who are part of it became the most important ally in helping to generate opportunities and peaceful co-existence at a very challenging time. For this reason we are optimistic and reaffirm our commitment to continue contributing ideas and resources to jointly build a better city and a country with opportunities and peace for all.

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