Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latin America (FAVLA), an ACDI/VOCA affiliate based in Bogotá, collaborates with companies and governments to transform people’s lives and create positive changes in their communities through social and economic inclusion. With the support of transformative partnerships, FAVLA implements programs that boost the inclusion of people who are traditionally excluded from global development efforts. INclusiónES is one such program that focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion, while DecidoSer is a program and methodology for offering psychosocial support to populations affected by violence, conflict, or other issues. In 2020, FAVLA reached 10,000 people throughout 12 departments of Colombia with programs making sustainable social change and the inclusion of both urban and rural communities possible. These programs have the support of private and public partners, including Enel Green Power, Pepsico, Banco de Bogotá, Grupo AVAL, Fundación Texmodas, General Electric, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, and the National Land Agency. Following the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, FAVLA adjusted its strategies. Thanks to innovation, the use of new technologies, and virtual activities, FAVLA successfully implemented programs without disruption, despite the many restrictions and safety protocols put in place.
COLLABORATION PROVIDES (RE)VISION FOR WATER ACCESS IN LA GUAJIRA
Colombia’s largest and northernmost department, La Guajira, boasts 1,642 kilometers of striking Caribbean coastline. However, its 8,200 square kilometers of inland territory are almost entirely arid desert. Fresh water – essential for cooking, bathing, and of course, drinking is extremely hard to come by. As a result, communities – including a uniquely diverse population of indigenous Wayúu, Afro descendants, and Venezuelan migrants – are vulnerable to prolonged periods of drought, coupled with sicknesses that arise from suboptimal water collection and filtration methods.
Fundación ACDI/VOCA LA is working alongside Wayúu communities, the Ministry of Housing, Enel Green Power, the Colombian Army, and Uribia and Maicao Mayor’s Offices to build or renovate 16 pond like reservoirs (“jagüeyes” in the Wayuunaiki language) in the region. The $800 – million initiative promotes access to safe water and strengthens resilience and adaptability in the face of climate change for more than 3,000 people from 22 Wayúu communities. In this true public, private partnership, Wayúu leaders identified the best locations for each of the jagüeyes, while the private company and the army’s engineering division contributed machinery and technical assistance. In tandem, Fundación ACDI/VOCA LA and USAID’s Program of Alliances for Reconciliation (PAR) supported the involved government agencies in the innovative and sustainable design for the jagüeyes.
Wayúu leaders, army engineers, and government officials work together with Fundación ACDI/VOCA LA to design and construct 16 reservoirs benefitting 22 Wayúu communities.