“Rumbo Joven” is a program that seeks to increase the opportunities for formal employment for youths between the ages of 18 and 30 years old residents of marginalized areas of the city of Cali. This is achieved through training sessions, orientation and support in the consolidation of the participants’ life goals and helping them find proper placements in local businesses.
On August 27th, Patricia Hunter, Assistant Director of the USAID Office for Reconciliation and Inclusion, Ricardo Amaya, Director of ACDI/VOCA, and June Beittel, US Congress Foreign Affairs Analyst for Latin America, visited the employability program “Rumbo Joven”. During their visit current program participants shared their experiences about their training process.
The following day, Caitlin Mitchell, officer of the EMpower Foundation, visited a different group of students of the same program, in a different neighborhood of Cali. EMpower became a donor to this program in January of this year.
During her visit, Ms. Mitchell met with six “Rumbo Joven” graduates currently participating in a joint internship program between the Exito Supermarket Chain and El SENA (a technical training Colombian governmental program) to train as cashiers. They have signed training contracts with SENA and receive between 60% and 70% of Colombia’s monthly minimum salary.
In May of this year, Kevin Haggerty, Financial Director for ACDI/VOCA, an economic development organization that works with USAID resources, visited “Rumbo Joven”. He said that that this program could be described with one word: ”HAPPINESS”. And explained that “people leave happy with themselves, and with good prospects of finding jobs and peacefully co-exist with others”.