On the Caribbean Coast of Colombia is a small community called Santa Rosa that is home to hundreds of families with a rich culture but a turbulent past. While they are hardworking and optimistic, many residents there, primarily women, struggle to find employment or any income generating activity. One of their main obstacles is a local economy dominated by agriculture, one that lacks diversity of job opportunities and services offered. Unemployment is very high; and the employment that does exist is in farming.
For this reason, The Sun Foundation, a local NGO based in the area is bringing technical training to 20-30 women in the community each year in the form of fashion design and clothing production classes. RPCV Joshua began working with this NGO during his time as a volunteer in Colombia in a financial education and organizational capacity. The classes will be directed by professionals from a local technical school partnering in the project. They will be supplemented by entrepreneurship and business management lectures from leaders in the community and its surrounding towns, the knowledge from which would be used to open up a workshop to commercialize the products they make throughout the classes.
The Sun Foundation has two goals, one shorter term and one longer term: first, to provide sources of income for dozens of women and their families; and two, to diversify the local economy through the creation of jobs in the clothing and design industry. The women involved in the project will go on in the future to start their own businesses in the community. For this reason, they have been dubbed The Pioneers of Santa Rosa; they are exploring uncharted markets to develop the local economy. The lovely community of Santa Rosa is a market waiting to burst open, a perfect opportunity for change-makers and local leaders. The money being raised will go directly towards opening up the classes and workshop for the women, specifically for the machines necessary in clothing production.
RPCV Joshua and the Santa Rosa group received funding from the Peace Corps’ PCPP Grant, but a week after approval, the grant had to be rescinded due to Josh being evacuated. Joshua is currently residing in Kansas City, Missouri.
NPCA invests 85 percent of the total donations directly to support this project and 15 percent where needed most to support service administration and our overall mission.