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Focus on: Francisco Fernández, Executive Director of Fundación Por Una Carrera

April 17, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

"In ColungaHUB you start to configure a universe where we can think of articulated interventions"

How did you get to civil society?

When I was in school there were always activities that were invited, they were not so voluntary, but I was happy. There came a minute where one already decided to participate in summer jobs and all that type of activities. What made me work in public policies and civil society issues were certain activities that we did in school and that we created ourselves. For example, in the third half we organize breakfasts for people in street situations and set up a network around that. From those experiences I knew that I liked to work with and for people, and I studied psychology.

TO For A Career I arrived in July of the year 2017. They called me while I was in the Ministry of Social Development. I had been working in different ministries for 6 years and I wanted to connect again with "the impact", to see that what you are doing has results in a person. From public policy, the times you achieve impact are in many people, but sometimes those big numbers are very cold. I needed to return to the impact that one can see, to know people and their stories.

What moves Fundación Por Una Carrera today?

Today the area of vocational guidance has been strengthened more and more, because we have realized that, although the financing of a career is an access gap, deciding what career to study, so that it is a good decision, is also a gap . Not everyone has access to experiences of different careers to know what they are about, then one tends to choose among the careers that he knows. If you do not have guidance to find a career, the financing may not be enough, and maybe one year, or two years, you want to change your career because that's when you realized that it was not your vocation.

We are also working with different schools, mainly private individuals. Also some municipal of Santiago, with the accompaniment program for vocational guidance, consultancies for financing. Also, this year we are going to start with one from Rancagua. It is an effort for the regionalization of the foundation.

What challenges do you have for this 2018?

This year we will start working with universities, supporting them in the implementation of the PACE program (Program of Accompaniment and Effective Access to Higher Education), from our expertise. We are going to give talks on vocational guidance and talks to support the applications for funding alternatives, which will mean reaching, in addition to the 24 schools that we supported last year, to 16 new ones that we add this year. So, if last year we hit 1000 students, this year it will be double. It will be intense, but it will be a good year.

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

We have been here for about a year, and it has challenges, but also many riches. Going from an office where you are alone, to a place where you have to share spaces with many people, has challenges because you are not used to regulating space issues, noise, but soon you get used to it. And that's where the most enriching topics of working with more than 30 NGOs begin, where many work similar topics to yours. Here if you have a question about something, an administrative process or a challenge that you do not know how to take on, you will meet many people around you, who already lived it, or who are wondering what you are.

In ColungaHUB you start to configure a universe where we can think of articulated interventions. It makes you realize that you are not alone within your goals, that, for example, some are working on the next step to what you are doing. Here we are in tune with a lot of institutions and in the activities, at lunch, in the hallways, you realize that your experience serves another and the experiences of others serve you, so it ends up being very enriching. The activities organized by Colunga help that, because sometimes you are immersed in day to day life, but those encounters force you to stop, get together and look to the side. And that serves and is valued.

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