THE LATEST: Success Story: The power the partnerships & job training in Colombia: Meet Genesis

Success Story
by Paola Paternina Chicre

Students participate in a Learning for Life session pre-COVID

Genesis is 24 years old and on Monday, December 14th will become one of 130 young people in Cali and Barranquilla to graduate as Technicians from DIAGEO’s Learning for Life program. She originally migrated to Cali from Venezuela looking for better opportunities. It was not an easy road for her family: After going through many difficulties (made worse by the pandemic) and being discriminated against in job searches, she arrived at the ‘Learning for Life’ program.  “My life has another direction and has been more focused on achieving everything and getting ahead… Since I am part of the program everything is back on track”, Genesis says of her involvement with Learning for Life.

Thanks to the alliance between DIAGEO and international NGO Tanager, on December 14 and 15, 2020, 130 young people from the Learning for Life program will get a Technical Diploma in Marketing and Sales and in Table and Bar in Barranquilla and Cali, respectively.

The partnership, which has trained nearly 900 students in the country for three years training in marketing and sales and table and bar, training in socio-emotional skills and psychosocial accompaniment to 130 young people from the most vulnerable neighborhoods and communes in both cities. This training was made available provided between seven months and a year and in alliance with the Universidad del Valle in Cali and Centro Inca in Barranquilla.

It also sought to generate partnerships with the private sector to create more employment opportunities for young people, with a focus on vulnerable populations in the city and diversity. The coronavirus pandemic was not an impediment to the implementation of the program and its training. The program adapted to the virtual environment and offered support such as laptop rental and data recharging so that young people could participate and complete their training in Cali, where the training began during the current situation.

For the graduation ceremony safety concerns around COVID-19 are paramount, so student diplomas were sent to the homes of the participants and the ceremony will take place virtually, seeking to commemorate and celebrate the achievement obtained by the participants.

“At DIAGEO we are convinced that a more prosperous future requires skilled people and education is undoubtedly a structural platform to achieve this goal. In this way, with Learning for Life we seek to provide more tools to young people in the country so they can access more solid job opportunities with better projection,” said Alvaro Cardenas, General Manager for DIAGEO Andean Region.

About Learning for Life 

Working jointly with established educational organizations to provide training in entrepreneurial attitudes, technical education and soft skills, Learning for Life is DIAGEO’s education program that has benefited over 100,000 students in 35 countries.

In Colombia, the program has been developed in cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali positively impacting the country’s youth of which 80% are women, 23% victims of the armed conflict, and 77% people in vulnerable situations.