THE LATEST: Welcoming Loren into Colombia and its job market
by Ana Quilarque
Loren is a 24-year-old migrant who arrived in Colombia three years ago from Venezuela, where she was studying Social Communication and working in a chocolate shop. Along with her husband, she worked for a year to raise enough money for her family to make the trip out of Venezuela. With their six-year-old son in tow, they left their home country with only what they could carry in their suitcases.
After arriving in Colombia, it was her son’s interest in baseball that introduced Loren to the Employment for Reconciliation program. At her son’s training center, she heard about the program from other parents who encouraged her to apply. Loren says she never felt excluded because she was a Venezuelan or a migrant. The mood was always one of comradeship and she received support from all her classmates and professors.
“We started a new life here in Colombia, and we are very grateful to this country, thanks to God it has gone very well, we got a job through the PEP. Being a part of the Employment for Reconciliation program has been magnificent, I have felt very good and integrated,” says Loren.
Loren was chosen along with other young people to attend the concert of singer Fonseca – co-founder of the Gratitude Foundation. “Meeting Fonseca was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” she recalls with emotion.
She had the opportunity to participate in the workshops given by the Gratitude Foundation, called Cultural Empathy’ and Artistic-creative Experiences. These workshops sought to enable the young students in the program to express their emotions to generate spaces that facilitate collaborative work and engender a sense of confidence.
Loren thanks the people of Colombia, along with Tanager and DIAGEO’s program, for the opportunity to continue her education and find employment. She says that in Colombia she has rarely felt like a foreigner.