Boeing and the Pan American Development Foundation have worked with the Colombian government to help more than 10,000 indigenous and African descendant families living Colombia’s rural areas with their livelihoods.
Colombia’s government launched the one-year project in March 2013 with the goal of providing food security and income generating activities for isolated ethnic minorities, PADF said Friday.
The program has reached approximately 311 communities throughout 22 Colombian provinces.
“Helping local residents improve agricultural production and employment opportunities has meant giving so many families the chance to begin a new road toward development after enduring years of hardship and insecurity,” said Soraya Osorio, PADF country director in Colombia.
For its part, Boeing oriented and trained Afro-descendant and indigenous people on methods to increase agricultural productivity and build up entrepreneurial skills.
Ninety-five percent of participants reported improved quality of life and 68 percent are now offering or bartering poultry or handicraft products outside their communities, PADF says.
PADF, Boeing and Colombia jointly executed a similar program in 2012 that helped more than 11,000 displaced individuals establish a microenterprise or a community-based business.
That initiative helped increase employment and income among displaced people by 56 percent and 53 percent, respectively.