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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
With this project, we positively contribute to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda through the following SDGs: