50 new masters from the Pacific

2023-04-19 22:29:09

Within the framework of Avanza Pacífico, a strategy developed by the Manos Visibles Corporation and USAID, this April 18, 45 professionals from Chocó, Valle, Cauca, Nariño, the Caribbean and Amazonas graduated from the Master’s Degree in Management and Practice of Development of the Universidad de los Andes, and at the end of the year there will be 50 consolidating a group of managers that will promote the strategic and sustainable development of these territories.

This bet is an important advance for the transformation of leadership in these territories, taking into account that of every 1,000 Colombians only 28 of the Afro-Colombian and indigenous population reach a postgraduate study.

A generation of managers that builds a transformation agenda for critical issues for territorial progress such as governance, sustainable development and business creation.

With this cohort of master’s degrees, access to positions of power is enhanced in different sectors where there is low ethnic and territorial representation. “From Manos Visibles we want these leaders to be visible references for talent from the Colombian Pacific, leaders who change imaginaries, create the future, propose innovative solutions to the development challenges in the region. We also seek that the best universities in the country have racial and territorial equity as a priority on their agendas; they are nourished by it and thus form with a more universal approach” assures Ana Isabel Vargas, Executive Director of Manos Visibles.

Many of these professionals are aware that, through education, it is possible to generate significant changes in their communities. According to the evaluation of results presented by the firm Cifras y Conceptos for this cohort, during the master’s degree, 61% of the scholarship holders perceived that their participation in the fund improved their quality of life, and 63.5% perceived improvements in their income. 75% consider that they had positive changes in their leadership due to their participation in the program and 96% identify changes in the projects they lead. Finally, they recognize that the program generated an important visibility of the leaderships and managed a clear territorial, gender and ethnic approach that allows the strengthening of capacities in the participants.

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For Demerk Cuesta, a master’s student and an entrepreneur from Quibdó, Chocó, who through his company Jugos Masái provides employment to mothers who are heads of households, as well as young people at risk and who buys his raw materials from 70 peasant families and indigenous peoples, studying Development Management and Practice has allowed her to strengthen the conceptual part of the business, especially knowledge of the market, environmental and economic factors, “the master’s degree allowed me to adapt the business model to a new, more agile and more in line with the Colombian market” he assures.

On the other hand, Yenilse Alomía, an Afro woman who lives in López de Micay, a municipality in the department of Cauca where the opportunities to access quality education are practically nil, assures that “currently, as part of the master’s degree, we are carrying out a consultancy with the Los Andes Agrifood Center that will allow us to contribute from there to the social and economic development of the region and the country”.

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