What will I be when I grow up?
"What will I be when I grow up?" is the common question that many young people in the world ask themselves and that becomes more pressing when they are about to leave school to work or go to university.
For many youngsters of the barrios of Bogotá in Colombia, the uncertainty regarding their future becomes even more tiring because of the difficult context in which they are emerged, often marked by widespread social unease.
Self-confidence, hopes and expectations are considered almost a luxury by those who are used to cohabiting with poverty and problems complex even for adults.
Energy to build the future
In Colombia early school leaving regards thousands of young people. According to the Secretaría de Educación del Distrito of Bogotá every year more than 100,000 youngsters fail to enter high school and out of the approximately 700,000 who attend public schools, just over 50,000 graduate. Likewise, university often turns out to be an obstacle course and one out of two students does not finish his studies.
Unfavourable social conditions are often the cause of early school leaving, and a burden for young people who reach the last years of high school and start thinking about their future.
With the Educando con Energía programme we provide an answer to this question asked by the youths of Bogotá, giving credit to ambitions, projects and hopes that they often abandon due to lack of self-confidence.
“It’s a programme that enhances the value of young people. They break free from negative models and overcome social conditions. We help them discover themselves in order to freely decide which talent they will exploit and which road they will follow.”
Maria Cristina Papetti, Enel’s Head of Sustainability and Practice Sharing
Education and innovation
We became involved in Educando con energía in 2013 through the Endesa Colombia Foundation. So far we have seen more than 5,000 youths grow and come of age.
The programme, conceived by the Assistance to Families Fund Compensar, involves six schools in the city districts of Engativá, Ciudad Bolívar, San Cristóbal and Kennedy.
In order to meet the needs of youngsters as fully as possible, Compensar has organised a first study phase, working together with an interdisciplinary team formed by psychologists, social workers, teachers and headmasters.
Sharing experiences and the direct testimony of those who live with the young people every day have made it possible to understand their needs and expectations and to define personal development plans and an innovative participation model that combines multidisciplinary activities and community meetings.
We’re next to the youths, participating in the exciting experience of their coming of age. Teamwork, open communication, teaching social responsibility are ways of raising their awareness and helping them open up to the future.
“The parents of the young people tell us they find their children have changed when they return home, they judge their experience, they describe the change they undergo and their new awareness of themselves.”
Liz Theily Hernández Velandia, Maria Mercedes Carranza District School
Passions and personal attitudes suggest the best employment opportunities, whether to go on studying in university or entering the employment market, having already received basic training.
We work so that they will believe in their curiosity and strengthen their research abilities. We help them learn to see life as a path full of opportunities, along which the first ‘innovation’ consists in thinking of themselves freely and without any fear.