Aide is 34 years old. She was born in “Comuna 13″, but spent most of her youth in the countryside, where she worked with agriculture and farm animals for a living. She began working at a young age to help support and thus was unable to finish high school. She now has a 13 year-old son, who is currently studying, and a few years ago went through a painful divorce where her husband left her without any financial support.
Before she arrived to CadaVida, she was unemployed, not eligible to receive any social benefits from the government and had no professional skills, which made it difficult to find a job and earn a stable income to support her son and pay living costs.
CadaVida seeks to provide alternative solutions to well-known and long-lasting challenges that continue to plague the many women throughout Colombia like Aide who remain vulnerable to effects of poverty, violence and inequality. Our initial efforts start in Comuna 13, one of the most dangerous areas of Medellin, where there is an abundance of violence and poverty. We differ from existing Colombian organizations because we believe that long-term, sustainable change comes, not from outside donations or simple assistance, but from action within a community. Our program is unique in combining practical skills training with income-generating opportunities, with the hope that this model can spread, alter the way Colombians approach community services and finds way to not only help, but prevent or reverse the core problems. We do this by working with women in the following ways:
- We educate women participants on the importance of getting actively involved in their own communities and how creating a stronger community can have impactful economic and social benefits for all.
- We build women participants self-esteem thru workshops on personal image (e.g. fashion, makeup) that helps them recognize themselves as beautiful women and develops self-confidence that will allow them to function in a work environment. This is one of the most important pillars because many of these women face various types of violence and societal stereotypes that oppress and undermines their confidence.
- We offer courses in entrepreneurship, sales, finance, IT/Computers and leadership over a period of 9 months. After an intensive first month, we also provide opportunities for them to apply those skills in real business situations immediately so they can further develop and also earn income immediately. They continue to receive ongoing coaching and mentoring that will guide them towards their goals.
- Our programs find new lives for unused goods (i.e. surplus firsthand clothes). For example, we receive firsthand surplus garments donated by clothing brands – these clothes would normally be thrown away and burned to save expense and CadaVida instead takes this opportunity to give these items a second lifetime through our program. Women use these clothes and act as mirco-entrepreneurs by selling into their own communities. This allows “waste” to become a tool to drive economic activity and improve the quality of life for women from low-income backgrounds and their families.It is noteworthy that when a woman starts the program that the initial objective is to undertake in the business of selling clothes within the first year, alongside with other women who entered at the same time. This allows them to strengthen their skills and confidence together. We also make sure that they are responsible for their finances, settle their debts and save for starting their new business or career following the program.
With CadaVida, every woman advances their own path and it is indisputable that each is transformed to believe in themselves, set their own goals and become an economically active, independent woman who contributes at home and sets a strong example to her children, who in turn will follow suit. The empowerment of these women has cascading effects on their community and society.
Coming back to Aide, now after being in our program for over one year, she has completely changed her and her son lives for the better. She passed all the modules of our program “Puntadas de Mujer” and with the money and skills she earned during the program she is now ready to take over her own business and will open her own beauty spa in her house!
With your help we want to provide the opportunity to more women to take control of their own lives and have an opportunity to make changes for the better!
Some of the amazing women we hope to serve in our next cohort starting in 2016:
- María, 42, widow and mother of three.
- Ruth, 23, single mother, 3 children. Dreams of having her own restaurant.
- Ángela, 32, single mother, 2 children, wants to study finances and accounting.
- Irma, 20, Single mother of 2 children,wants to help other women.
- Lorena, 38, Single mother with one son who wants to grow her handcraft business.
Why it matters?
In Colombia, over 35% of children age 0-14 live in single-parent households, the majority headed by women from low-income backgrounds. UN studies show single mothers struggle to achieve financial stability due to gender gaps in wage and employment, and the discriminatory effects of Machismo. This problem is compounded by a lack of affordable childcare and education, and limited government capacity to deliver services. CadaVida sees a need for more education and job opportunities for these women.
When a woman is empowered, she can take care of her children and make the best decisions to improve her family’s life. Financial stability allows a woman to buy quality food, offer her children better educational options, and be independent of others. Stability allows a woman to make her own decisions and realize what she is capable of. CadaVida Foundation is built on the belief that each life is important, and that stronger women lead to stronger families, and stronger communities as a whole.
How will the funds be used?
Donations will go primarily to supporting training activities and workshop materials for the new cohort of women set to begin in our next program in early 2016. The more money we raise, the more women we can take into the program! Here are some examples of what your money can achieve:
- With $50, you help print training materials for five women participants.
- With $100, you support the transportation costs of one women participant for the full program
- With $500, you provide a professional social entrepreneurship, financial planning and saving workshop or a leadership workshops for for one single mother (total 40 hours)..
- With $1000, you cover the full the whole processing of any of these workshops for one single mother (80+ hours).
*** For USA based donors, all donations are eligible for a tax reduction with the IRS thanks to our 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsor Runa Foundation***
Over the past year, we have already impacted more than 100 women in our community through our different workshops and programs. As they equipped themselves with the knowledge and skills learned from us, we could see these women, their children and families’ future brighten. We strongly believe that we can impact many more women through our programs, not only in our community Comuna 13, but also in throughout the city of Medellin and the country as whole! Join us to make a big difference!
We also accept surplus first-hand clothing and beauty (e.g. cosmetics, hair) product donations, which will be used in our Entrepreneurial and Fashion & Beauty workshops, or as part of the mirco-enterprise initiative . If you have any connection with apparel companies and are interested in providing these kinds of donations or can help connect us those you may be interested, please feel free contact us: [email protected]
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Michele M Taipale
P. VAN ´T VELD
MCNEILL PAUL BRIAN
JUAN FERNANDO ZULUAGA
Meili autumn beauty
Jenny p Kocher
Luz A Jaramillo
Jenny p Kocher
Nestor J Santana
Sarah T Randt
J.C.Van den Driest
Nathan J Anderson
Stephen McNulty Jr
MAC WING NIMEI
Maria Catalina Carmona
JESSICA TURON TOVAR
Eric M Krieger
camilo i orrego
Marcela Cadavid O
Amanda E Anderson
Maria Teresa Hernández martin
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Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Viviana is a former corporate worker turned social entrepreneur. As Head of Impact for CadaVida, she is responsible for day-to-day leadership in all areas of the organization. Viviana has received recognition for her work with CadaVida, including the FOCO award from the Angelica Fuentes Foundation, the first private foundation devoted to empowering women and girls in Latin America. She was also selected as a participant in the first-ever cohort of “50 Under 40″ by American Express, an exclusive program for emerging social enterprise leaders, and as a 2013 Cordes Fellow, an annual fellowship assigned to exceptional social entrepreneurs engaged in poverty alleviation and economic justice enterprises.
Nació en Medellín, Colombia. Después de estudiar en Francia Ingeniería Mecánica y vivir por más de 14 años fuera de Colombia. Viviana decide volver a Colombia y crear programas de impacto social para mejorar la vida de las mujeres más vulnerables y más necesitas de su país y para logralo decide convertirse en emprededora social. Como jefe de impacto para CadaVida, ella es responsable de liderar día a día todas las áreas de la organización. Viviana tiene más de diez años de experiencia profesional en administración de proyectos desarrollo de negocios y planeación.
Coaching and Mentoring Director / Directora de mentorías y coaching
Marcela is in charge of Coaching and Mentoring at CadaVida. In this capacity, she draws on her significant psychology experience to develop curriculum focused on helping women overcome past trauma, loss, insecurity, and inner struggles. Her sessions also focus on how to set emotional and economic goals and plan for the future. Marcela holds two Masters in Psychology from Diderot University in Paris and and University of Vincennes in Saint-Dennis.
Marcela es una líder intelectual intrínseca con grandes logros profesionales en el campo de sicología. Marcela se caracteriza por su dedicación, entusiasmo y conocimientos en sicología clínica y administración del talento. Ella tiene dos maestrías en el campo de la sicología: uno de la Paris Diderot University (Paris 7) en sicoanálisis y otro en la University of Vincennes en Saint-Dennis (Paris 8) en sicología. Ella se especializa en sicopatología de la violencia. Ella es la encargada del programa de coaching y mentoria. Además, Marcela es la encargada de preparar y organizar los talleres de empodaramiento.
Nathan is proud to be born and raised from the state of Vermont. He has been based in Europe and China for the past 9 years, working for multinationals and start-ups where he has developed extensive international and emerging market experience in finance, operations and business development activities. Nathan works closely with the senior team at CadaVida on developing strategic partnerships and keeping the books of the foundation in order.
Nathan se siente orgulloso de ser del estado de Vermont, Estados Unidos. Él ha vivido en Europa y China los últimos 9 años donde se ha desarrollado su experiencia en mercados internacionales y emergentes enfocándose en finanzas, operaciones y actividades de desarrollo de negocios. Nathan trabaja de forma cercana con el equipo directivo de CadaVida desarrollando asociaciones de desarrollo estratégico y mantiene los libros de la fundación en orden.
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