Jungendliche in Berufsausbildung

Fit for the job:

work and peace education for internally displaced young people

Fit für den Job: Berufsbildung für intern vertriebene Jugendliche

District of Bosa Occidental in Bogotá, Colombia

Professional education, work market integration, dealing with the past, community development, self-help assistance

Direct: 220 young people aged between 17 and 25
Indirect: 1000 family members

Fundación Apoyar, Bogotá

The total budget payable by Vivamos Mejor amounts to CHF 489,560. The young people pay 150 Swiss francs for their diploma. This is a high figure taking into account their personal circumstances and means.


Project background

Bosa Occidental is one of the poorest districts of Bogotá, Colombia. Over 90% of the population lives in poverty. Many suffer from the memory of traumatic experiences of war. Social cohesion is weak. Young people are particularly badly affected as they have very few opportunities for education and work. They are vulnerable targets for armed gangs who promise them much.

Our experiences show that young people with vocational training and competent support throughout are able to find stable work. In the last three years we have been able to help over 200 young people in Bosa to find a job which earns them a stable living. We would like to build on this success.

Project goals

220 vulnerable and internally displaced young people from Bosa Occidental earn a living through gainful employment.

  • 220 young people have a professional qualification and earn a living in a stable job.

  • 220 young people address their violent experiences and learn how to deal with their emotional problems.

  • 220 young people are socially engaged and make a peaceful and violence-free contribution within their family and neighbourhood.

Project activities

The core of the project is the vocational training of the young people and their placement in a permanent job. We carry out the following activities:

  • Vocational education for young adults
  • Psycho-social support
  • Integration into the job market

    More informations (download PDF).

Results from an Impact Study

An impact study of the previous projects carried out by the Universität St. Gallen (HSG) concluded that the effects were substantial and that donated funds had been used efficiently. When compared to income before the project, women’s earnings was almost double that of those in a control group. The probability of being employed rose by 48%. The women involved in the project were more satisfied on average with their work, their salary and other benefits, whilst the control group saw a slight change for the worse.

Juan Amado, Kindergärtner

That’s how Vivamos Mejor helped me.

"What really helped me at my job as a kindergarten teacher was during my training, I learned the basics of motor and cognitive development in children through active playtime and group interaction."

In his hometown of Caparrapi, Juan's Family was displaced from their property by paramilitary units and had to relocate to Bogota. Thanks to Vivamos Mejor, he completed professional training and found a job there.

Juan Amado, Kindergarten Teacher and Graduate of the Project «Fit for the Job»