Corporacion Interactuar

The mission of Interactuar is to generate and support the permanent employment in the department of Antioquia, through the creation and consolidation of small units of production, commerce or services, leading its enterprise development by means of financial services, of formation and commercialization and centering its action in the population of limited resources.
Jan 4, 2016

Thank you for your gift of opportunity!

Beatriz and Shona with Don Aldemar
Beatriz and Shona with Don Aldemar

Dear Donors,

The end of the year has nearly arrived, almost unbelievably, and we want to reflect on some things we have achieved in the last few months.

The end of October was the start of something new and wonderful for us here at Together for Colombia. We started personal fundraising campaigns and allowed individual supporters to start their own campaigns to help our Comuna 13, ‘Bringing Hope’ entrepreneurs. This is something that we have not done previously and so, imaginably, we were all very apprehensive about the results.

Amazingly, with your support and the support of our fundraisers, we raised $870 in less than a week!! This translates to over 2.5 million pesos which will go unbelievably far in helping our small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Remember, the beneficiaries from this project come from the poorest and most notoriously violent neighbourhood in Medellín. Their community has been plagued with gang wars, murder and crime for decades. The money you have raised is going to help them provide a sustainable livelihood, not only for themselves and their families, but eventually also for others in the community as their small business continue to improve, grow and prosper.

Each beneficiary only needs a tiny amount of money to be able to make the difference they want to make, for their business. The amount of money you have raised means we can make an unrecognisable difference to them and their lives.

The actions we will take in the following weeks is to visit each small business owner, discuss and re-assess their business needs with them, and then decide collaboratively between the entrepreneurs and our business consultants, how your donations can be spent to achieve the greatest impact and the greatest good.

We will of course keep you updated on our progress, so you can see how your help is changing lives!

Thank you again, from the whole of the Together for Colombia team and from each and every one of our entrepreneurs. Your donation is going much further than you can imagine!

With gratitude and warm wishes for Christmas and New Year,

Daniel




Beatriz and her empanada stall
Beatriz and her empanada stall
Dec 3, 2015

Fostering change from the inside out

Accessing local transport is a problem for some
Accessing local transport is a problem for some

Dear Donors,

The Together for Colombia team and Interactuar hopes that you are doing well. We hope you are excited for the upcoming holidays!

We have raised nearly $600 since the last project report! A huge thanks to you, our donors, for making that happen! We can’t wait to tell you how the funds will be implemented and how it will improve our entrepreneurs’ lives.  

A few weeks ago, a fellow team member and I went to visit our project partner organization, Asociación Amigos con Calor Humano. We got the chance to talk with a few members of the organization.

We spoke to Martiza, an area leader of the organisation, who told us about how rather than trying to change society and culture as a whole,  Amigos focuses on working with their associates from the ‘inside-out’. Amigos nurtures the individual by strengthening their confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, as well as their understanding of relationships with others, and the way in which greater society might see them.

Martiza then brought in Carlos so that we could hear his story and perspective. Carlos got glaucoma when he was nine years old and eventually became blind. He struggled with education but his family encouraged him and even though it was difficult to find a job, he became a lawyer and now works with the Amigos association. He emphasized that at Amigos, they provide the skills needed to go out and compete with the labor force and to earn equal opportunities. People with disabilities have more barriers to break through than the average person, which is why learning self-confidence is so valuable.

Carlos’ friend was also present and he told us his story and his views. He lost the use of his legs during a gang battle when he was sixteen years old. He informed us on what the working culture in Colombia is like for people with disabilities and said that they need to work with further determination to prove to the employers that they are able to do their job well. He also told us that entrepreneurship is great for people with disabilities because if their business goes well then they can help others who are in a similar situation.

The reason why having conversations like this is so important is because it brings an entirely new, personal, and cultural perspective about people with disabilities in Colombia. What we took away from the enlightening conversation was that equal opportunities are hard to acquire for people with disabilities but that they are willing and able to prove themselves to society. These people may be known as being disabled but I disagree because in reality, they are able and determined.  

Amigos and Interactuar work together to provide better job opportunities and training to help them succeed. You, as donors, play an enormous part in this partnership. Without your support, we would not be able to produce the job opportunities and training.

We would like to thank you deeply for your continuing support and we look forward to passing on more good news to you regarding the project’s development in the New Year.

With best wishes for Christmas and the whole holiday period,

Daniel

Art and books at the Amigos Centre
Art and books at the Amigos Centre
Dec 2, 2015

Looking to a new year, with new opportunities

Dear Donors,

The end of this year and the start of the next will bring great opportunity for the community of Los Medios.

As you know, their struggle has been to return to their village after being violently displaced during the period of extreme violence in the municipality of Granada. The elder generation of the community, of whom the majority are illiterate, are aiming to ensure sustainability and also ensure that their culture and traditions are maintained through the generations.

Interactuar, in collaboration with the Department of Social Prosperity and the Bavaria Foundation have been supporting the Los Medios Community Group in creating and maintaining a village shop, savings fund and school, all of which promote self reliance and sustainability in the village.

Now for the very important bit. Since our last project report, through the usage of our new personal fundraising campaigns, we have raised $436.60!! That translates to nearly 1.5m Colombian Pesos. In a community where people are asking for loans as small as 100,000 pesos for agricultural goods, this amount of money will go further than you can imagine.

With this money we will be able to continue supporting the already excellent work that has been taking place in the community so far. The village shop will be more profitable, as we are able to impart more sophisticated business management knowledge to the administrators, the savings fund will become more effective as the committee learn more accountancy skills and the children of the village will be better educated as the increased community income will allow reforms to be made to the school house.

All in all, your donations are making the tiny community much more sustainable. You are helping give them a future that would otherwise not be possible. In their history of pain and death and abandonment, you are giving them an opportunity to grow and thrive.

We will, of course, keep you updated on our progress into the new year.

Until then, we in the Together for Colombia team wish you all the happiness and prosperity for the coming Christmas and New Year period.

As always, from us and from the inhabitants of Los Medios, thank you for your hugely generous donations.

With warmest regards,

Los Medios Church
Los Medios Church

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