This project will build a community center in La Guajira in northern Colombia, home of the indigenous Wayuu people. The center will feature a classroom for elementary and soft-skill training, a 75 square-meter workshop for producing traditional artisanal crafts, and a community kitchen for safe cooking and eating. Children will benefit from better education. Adults will benefit from training in innovation and business. All 700 residents will benefit from improved cooking facilities.
In La Guajira, decades of drought and government neglect have combined to drive the health and economic well-being of the 63,000 indigenous Wayuu people to a crisis point. The region has long had Colombia's highest rates of childhood deaths by starvation. The closing of the Colombian-Venezuelan border in 2015 has driven food prices even higher and in 2016, an estimated 86 Wayuu children died of malnutrition. Most children lack a proper education. For adults, there is little lasting work.
The WE Project intends to address these problems in Malakali, a community of 700 Wayuu, by building a community center. The center will provide a safe space for early childhood education, a workshop to facilitate the production of handmade crafts for sale and to teach community members new skills, and a kitchen to allow for safe and sanitary food preparation.
The community center will make lasting improvements to the health and economic well-being of all 700 inhabitants, thereby reducing their reliance on inconsistent and insufficient government aid. The center will act as a hub for social, economic, and cultural activities and improve outcomes in each area. Children's education and literacy rates will rise. Women will be more economically empowered through sustainable and scalable income. Men will regain their dignity.