When applications closed on 30th of April this year, a total of 96 projects had submitted their information to participate in the selection process. Since then, our Social Fund Team has worked nonstop in reviewing the proposals and preselecting eight projects, with which extensive interviews were held. Beginning of July, the five winner projects were finally chosen.
“Selecting only five out of 96 projects really wasn’t easy.”, states Carolina Sosa, Leader of the Social Fund Team. “Almost every applicant had legitimate reasons why they would make good use of the support. And when there were only eight finalists left, we still wished we had more resources to support all of them, because we know that the needs of Colombian rurality are just enormous, and Government isn’t usually of much help.”
Up until today, the rural regions of Colombia face a lot of structural difficulties. Besides the ongoing armed conflict, the main part of the rural infrastructure is in bad conditions, and especially small farmers must compete against big landowners on the market, forcing them to sell their harvest underpriced to wholesale businesses and supermarket chains. So, many youngsters prefer to abandon the farms of their parents to find their luck in the bigger cities of the countries.
In this context, the D’cada Social Fund aims at fighting rural poverty and migration to the city. By funding small ecological farmers and their projects, we want to contribute to the sustainable development of the sector. In that sense, a very important criterion for the selection of the winner projects was that the support they had asked for would be reasonable and bring a long lasting, structural change for the person and their family, their project or agricultural activity.
“I am very happy with the selection we have made.”, concludes Carolina.
“The winner projects reflect the diversity of the agricultural sector of Colombia, and each addresses the problems of this sector in its unique way"
For example, we will work with a project of a women’s initiative that transforms former coca cultivations into ecological farmland in zones affected by the armed conflict. Then there are two young technologist in ecological farming who are also very active in the community and give workshops. On the other hand, we will support a very innovative project of a young couple from Medellín who are installing a hydroponic system of basil on the land of a farmer to create a better perspective for the farmer’s son.
Right now, the D’cada Social Fund Team is in continuous communication and close cooperation with the projects to coordinate the support each will receive. We invite you to stay tuned and follow up on the further development of each project on our social media channels and our blog.