Project #15491

Digital Education for Youth with Disabilities

Thank you for your donations and all the support
Thank you for your donations and all the support

Thanks to your support, we have been able to help youth with disabilities in Colombia access to ICT and have a better way of living thanks to them. At the same time, with your donations allowed us to train them in this topic and work for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Colombia.

For all of that we want to deeply THANK YOU and inform you that, from now on, this project will be closed. Te reason is we are going through a strategyc planning process inside MAKAIA and we are working on the renewing of our current projects. 

However, we encourage you to keep donating on GlobalGiving to any of our other projects or to any of the others out there on the platform. We all are trying to make a better world, any way.

Please, don't lose contact with us and follow us on FacebookTwitter and our website: Keep being part of the #TeamMAKAIA.

THANK YOU again and we hope to hear from you soon!

Everybody is paying attention
Everybody is paying attention

2015 is been started with the right foot. Along with one of our most important allies, the Medellin Library Network, we leaded one training session in the Municipal Library of a rural town in the Antioquia region. Hispania was the place selected for our first workshop of the year, developed in January.

Thanks to your generosity, 13 people could attend to an awareness session and learn about inclusion of people with disabilities in public libraries. During the class, they learned how to use ICT tools, some of them designed to get better access to information and improve the social and economic opportunities of these people.

The goal of the workshop was involve workers, leaders, volunteers and librarians in the creation of an atmosphere open to knowledge where everyone has a place, as they face new ways to get effective communication and know how to incorporate and treat people with disabilities in learning spaces.

All the assistants showed enthusiasm and participated actively in the activities prepared. One of them, was to fit the place of a person with disabilities when he/she has to do something related with his/her disability, like write without hands or read without sight. This gave them the motivation to keep moving forward and help people with disabilities in their community, as they valuate their own capacities.     

With your support, you are changing not just the life of people with disabilities, but the life of the ones surrounding them. At the end of the session, the attendees were aware of the importance of the ICT tools in the inclusion and the role libraries play in the transformation of the way disabilities are seen.

THANKS TO YOU we are not behind the technological wagon, we are inside of it and we want to keep getting more people in. Right now we are designing more workshops to give digital education to youth and old, with and without disabilities. Let’s develop all of them together!

How is to write without hands?
How is to write without hands?
Lets talk about disabilities, ITC and libraries
Lets talk about disabilities, ITC and libraries
Eat without sight, a hard job
Eat without sight, a hard job

We have great news!


Our digital education and entrepreneurship training project, completed with the support of our allies APWINC, EAFIT Social EAFIT, finish on a high note as more than a 170 women from the most vulnerable areas of Medellin, completed their courses and attended their graduation.


The program gave the chance to many young women; some of them with disabilities to discover what technology can do for their growth and development. The courses empowered women participating in the project to turn their business ideas into businesses, helping them become more independent and improving their self-esteem.


Thanks to your generosity, the participating group of young women with disabilities was able to acquire technical knowledge about creating and managing their own business using technology. They also learned basic principles in economics, marketing tools and the use of social networks to improve their business ideas.


This training was also important for the communities of the participating women, since the contents they learned can be replicated, creating an entrepreneurial and successful environment for their livelihoods to improve.


Graduation was a very emotional for many of these women and their families, for some of them it was the first time they receive a diploma. They dressed up and receive the diploma from their trainers, took pictures to remember this memorable moment in their life, changing their destiny, opening their doors to new opportunities.


It was a very special event tears of joy were all over the place, and for us, our team or trainers and everyone involve is a source of inspiration to continue creating opportunities for people that need our help the most. Thanks to your generous donations, we can keep on working with young people with disabilities that need it the most.

Young women entrepreneurs learning digital skills!
Young women entrepreneurs learning digital skills!

Young women with disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable populations in Colombia, they have very little opportunities for development, often feel isolated, and have low self-esteem. With little schooling and limited options for economic advancement it is fundamental for them to find innovative ways to engage with their community and improve their lives.

In our latest session we trained a group of young women with hearing disabilities in basic digital skills and entrepreneurial essentials, such as basic accounting and administration concepts, in order to turn their business ideas into blooming realities that will allow them to have a better future.

During these training sessions we not only taught them how to use technology, but more importantly how to harness its power to transform their lives. Over the course of 2 months we empowered them with the knowledge and tools to build up their confidence and self-esteem, to create their own business and ultimately achieve economic independence. Thanks to your help and the support of our allies we created a safe and inclusive space for these young women to learn new skills and develop their talents.

Often women with hearing disabilities feel isolated from the world, and technology provides a way to feel included and engaged. Such was the case of Paula a vivacious and energetic nineteen-year old with hearing disability that attended the course.

Paula expressed “ I often feel bored and have nothing to do that will make me feel useful and included, and this training not only gave me the opportunity to interact with other young women with dissabilities and learn how to use a computer to communicate with the world, it also showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to. Sometimes the readings were difficult but we a little determination I completed them and that made me feel very proud”

Her aunt and caretaker said “I noticed a great improvement in Paula’s mood and confidence since the training session; she wants to create a resume and get a job. She is motivated, and has the opportunity to experience something that can help her grow, which is rare for her”

Your donations are vital for continuing to provide oportunities for young people with disabilities like Paula, please spread the word and helps us create inclusive and dynamic ways to better their lives!

Two eager students sharing!
Two eager students sharing!
Some students using a computer for the first time
Some students using a computer for the first time
Some students came straigh from work!
Some students came straigh from work!
Dora (in the blue shirt) and her teacher Sofia
Dora (in the blue shirt) and her teacher Sofia

Dora is 25, she lives in the Villa Hermosa, one of the biggest slums in the mountains of Medellín, Colombia. Dora has a visual dissability and suffers from epilepsy, which has prevented her from studying and getting a good job. For a few year now, she has being receiving  trainning and counseling at a local NGO Fundación Amigos con Calor Humano, and we met her there when we took our digital education trainning to the NGO.

Dora is a fighter, and her dissabilities have never stop her, as she says herself " I always find a way not seeing has never stop me I know I can do anything if I work hard enough, right now I am selling clothes door to door with a catalogue, and I can pay for my food, clothes and have money to take the bus to go to counceling and keep going to the workshops and trainning they have "

She is a dreamer and hardworker, right know she is taking a course in entrepenurship and her dream is to open a hotel for people with dissabilities, about her dream she says "it has not been easy, I have sent proposal to organizations that support small business and banks and they had all said no, but I persisit someone somewhere will believe my idea is great ".

Dora loves to study and learn, that why she is always the first to sign up when the NGO she get her counceling from offers  new courses, when she heard abou the technology course MAKAIA was providing for people with dissabilities, thanks to the resources from our Global Giving project, she signed up imediately.

She told us she had attended other courses on the basic use of computers before, but MAKAIA's has been the only one that had truly empower her to use technology to make her dream a reality, on her experience she said "Our teacher Sofía, was incredible she also has a dissability and has come to previous workshops as a student, if she knows so much, maybe one day I can be a teacher too and help others, one of my favorite parts of the trainning was being able to help others that had never used a computer before, since I had a little trainning I became like her teaching assistant!"

"The course was great" Dora said "it  was very clear and explained everything step by step, and is it not only about using a computer but using that knowledge and apply it in other courses like the one I am doing now on how to create a business, it was easier to see the ideas more clearly in other lessons and do our homework, I still see my teacher Sofía from time to time, and we encourage others from the group we see around to review" Dora also shared that the course allowed her to learn how to use the internet in the specially adapted computers the NGO has. The knowledge you help us give TO Dora and her friends allow them not only she to find new opportunities, but to feel useful and empowered.

Dora uses a magnifying glass to use computers and mobile phone but this never stops her from using technology to the fullest, she told us since she attended the course she has learn how to use Facebook to talk to her friends, and twitter to get the news, she has even began looking at potos on Instagram, she says she is not yet brave enough to post lost of things but she loves how tecnology has made her life better, allow her to dream big and keep in touch with family and friends. 

Your support has been invaluable to make stories like Dora's a reality everyday, people like her are our inspiration and their bravery and streght motivate us to continue giving trainning programs so more and more people can get better oportunities, create businesses and improve their livelyhood. And more importantly be empowered and feel unstoppable.


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Organization Information


Location: Medellin, Antioquia - Colombia
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
catalina Escobar
Medellin, Antioquia Colombia

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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