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Communities and shared value

Sustainable settlements

Sustainable settlements

Two girls and a boy smile as they pose for a photo Local communities

The closing ceremony for the Community Empowerment Program's sustainable settlements event was held in Cartagena, Colombia on April 27th, 2019.

We had been developing this initiative since 2015 together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with whom we signed a collaboration agreement, aimed at implementing sustainable development strategies for the residents of the Villa de Aranjuez and Ciudad del Bicentenario neighborhoods. The goal was to improve their living conditions by implementing inclusive models in order to generate income, employability, job training, and to create a safe and secure living environment, which would boost their skills and opportunities.

It is worth noting that both neighborhoods in which the sustainable settlements program was developed belong to the national government’s project to build 100,000 free houses—a project that lends a hand to homes which have been displaced, are vulnerable, or have been particularly affected by the harsh winter weather, among others, by providing housing at no cost. In total, 21,000 people have fallen victim to the situation.

  • Total donation: €485,000
  • Beneficiaries: 1,200 people
  • Time: 18 MONTHS

The project followed a four-pronged approach:

  • 1. Generating income through entrepreneurship and businesses

The aim was to increase the productive capacity of the community, increasing their opportunities with regards to income generation, so that they can enforce their citizenship rights freely and improve their quality of life. In this sense, the project sought to strengthen and regulate local providers, boost chains of production, with an eye on shared value, bolster inclusive markets, improve technical skills among entrepreneurs and businessmen and businesswomen, and develop cultural projects for the orange economy.

Hence, the following programs were created: Development Program for suppliers, Initiation Route; Execution Route; Micro-Franchise, and Orange Economy (including Vive Bailando).

  • 2. Promoting human capital and employability

Here the program consisted of imparting official and relevant training through accredited institutions to low-income people in vulnerable conditions. Repsol was present in all steps: from the technical skill-training of selected candidates, to when they entered the job market.

  • 3. Urban agroecology

The aim was to create a space for urban agricultural productivity, based on biointensive gardening and a model for business inclusion throughout the value chain (training, sowing, reaping, and distributing/selling). In this sense, a closed-off garden center was built, on a 33 m lot, in order to install hydroponic technology, the tanks and underground watering systems which will make it possible to reap crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

  • 4. Strengthening the social fabric of communities and community organizations

The main aim behind this pillar was to create a Development Plan in the Ciudad del Bicentenario for the years 2017-2019. This plan was to be the road map for the community, to guide them and provide basic information regarding the necessary management steps required to satisfy their basic needs.

How much income was generated through entrepreneurship and businesses?

With more than one billion pesos invested to help out 346 families, this pillar focused on boosting the community’s productive capacity. In order to do so, 40 start-ups were created, three micro-franchises were opened, and 132 local businesses were strengthened; furthermore, two orange start-ups dedicated to art and culture for the youth were created.
These initiatives have widened the horizon of opportunities within the community, increasing their income generation and improving the quality of life.

What were the results regarding human capital and employability promotion?

With more than 234.7 million pesos (€10.2 million) invested to help out 120 families, official training has been imparted to low-income people in vulnerable conditions. 60 persons received training for the job market, and 50 of them have entered the job market thanks to three employment alliances.

What goals were met with the urban agroecology as a strategy to ensure self-sufficiency and the marketing of fresh produce?

With more than 184 million pesos (€8 million) invested to help out 40 families, productive urban agriculture lots have been put in place, and 120 people trained in biointensive agriculture are working on them. They aim to eliminate intermediaries and create an inclusive business model throughout the value chain.

How many people benefited from the strengthening of the community organization’s social fabric?

With 700 people having benefited from two local development plans based on the Sustainable Community Comprehensive Development Model, 110 leaders have been trained and empowered to ensure the community has the necessary tools to manage their own basic needs.
  • With this project, we positively contribute to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda through the following SDGs: