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Future prospects thanks to vocational training

Secured income for marginalised young adults

Future prospects thanks to vocational training: Secured income for marginalised young adults

Districts Ciudad Bolívar, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Tunjuelito, Suba, Kennedy and Santa Fe, Bogotá, Colombia

Vocational training, labour market integration, coming to terms with the past, peacebuilding, social participation

Directly: 600 young adults

Indirectly: 3'300 family members

Volver a la Gente, Bogotá

The project budget is CHF 717,965. Own and local contributions are supplemental.

2022 - 2024

Project background

Many young adults in the poor districts of Bogotá have fled the civil war from rural areas and are trying to build a new life in the city. However, they lack training, a network and the right behaviour when it comes to job applications. As a result, the unemployment rate of young refugees is 58%. Frustrated, some are susceptible to the promises of criminal gangs or struggle along as poorly paid day labourers.

Our project approach

We provide 600 internally displaced and marginalised young adults with formal vocational training. After graduation, we support them in finding a formal job with guaranteed minimum wage and social benefits and accompany them for the first few months in their new job. Parallel to their vocational training, we strengthen their social and conflict resolution skills.

Project goals

  • 540 young adults are professionally qualified, with at least 60% earning the legal minimum wage in a formal job and being socially insured.
  • 540 young adults deal with their experiences of violence and learn how to deal with emotional injuries. They know their rights and obligations and are contributing to life in a community that is free from violence.
  • Our partner organisation, strengthened institutionally, can work to disseminate its vocational training model.

Ongoing Impact study

In 2018, in collaboration with the University of Lausanne and the Colombian Universidad de los Andes, we launched a robust randomised trial to measure the medium-term impact of our intervention on the lives of young adults. With its study design, Vivamos Mejor 2020 was the first Swiss aid organisation to win the Impact Award of the SDC and ETH/NADEL for the second time. Initial results have shown that psychosocial support enables the development of skills to cope better with challenges in both the professional and private spheres. Final results are expected to be available from mid-2022 and will subsequently be published in specialised journals and presented to relevant institutions in Switzerland and Colombia.

Learn more about our impact measurement here.