Success Story: Learning for Life in Colombia: Meet Tatiana
Tatiana Arenas Londoño is one of the 120 participants in DIAGEO’s Learning for Life Program, implemented by Tanager in Colombia. The program’s goal is to provide income-generating opportunities for young people in vulnerable situations through an eight-month certified workforce development training program, psychosocial support, and job placement in the formal sector through six-month internships.
Tatiana was born in Medellin 27 years ago and grew up in conditions of poverty and exclusion that affected her life. At age 20, she moved to Cali looking for better opportunities. Since she only reached middle school, her job options were minimal, nevertheless, she managed to work in sales at a cellphone company. A few months later she became pregnant, was dismissed from the company where she worked and abandoned by her partner. Tatiana made the decision to become a single mother while she was going through an economically and mentally difficult situation. Thinking of her daughter who was about to be born, Tatiana made the decision to return to live with her family in Medellín. In her family, she found hope and strength to continue forward in the consolidation of her life project.
She has spent seven very happy years with her daughter, who is her motivation in life, but she had not been able to find a stable and formal job that would allow her to support her daughter financially. This situation began to change on a Sunday four months ago when somebody came to her neighborhood in Robledo with information about the call for the education and employment program “Learning for Life”. There were two possibilities of workforce training, one in Administrative Support and other in Marketing and Sales. Tatiana chose the latter, and after going through the selection process, she successfully began to study at the training center, Ciudad Don Bosco.
Today Tatiana has restored her faith in herself and has become optimistic and sees a better future where she can give new meaning to her experiences. During the program, she has been able to share her experiences with and learn from DIAGEO’s Managers and Directors through training and lectures they provide to the participants. “Now I’m eager to acquire new knowledge. I’m focused on this great opportunity for development and learning and I will fight to provide a better future for my daughter”, she says.
Her family continues supporting her by taking care of her little girl so that she can study and get a formal job that will help her improve the living conditions for her daughter and her family. Tatiana is happy being a mother, student, worker and a woman who breaks social barriers created by stereotypes, committed to personally improving every day. “DIAGEO and Tanager have been very generous in helping me fulfill my dreams and professional expectations, they have encouraged me to be better every day.”
This program goes beyond its objective. Through public-private partnerships and international cooperation, the program is positively changing the lives of more than 120 young people in 16 months, helping them develop goals for their future. It also impacts on their communities and families and generates empowerment and reconciliation.