Focus on: Jo Escudero, Executive Director of Ronda Chile

June 6, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

"Having entered ColungaHUB detonated what we are creating today"

How did you get to civil society?

I am 32 years old, I am Lucas' mother of 9 years, and at 28 I started a spiritual search. In that minute, he was Assistant Business Manager at Rentas Falabella, managing the real estate spaces at Falabella. I began to work my spirituality through different forms, and one of the ways was the coaching. There I discovered that I had a need, to serve. This is how it was born Round. I had the idea of creating a beauty pageant for girls with disabilities, which I had seen in the United States, and I started recruiting people for that dream. In this search to name the contest, a publicist, who is now part of the co-founders, tells us that this is called Ronda, and that Ronda is to trust, is to believe, is to take us by the hand in a round for a greater objective that the one that each one has. There we understood that this was not a beauty contest, that it was something much bigger, more profound, that it was a collective call to transform us, and that we had the possibility of changing our view of what was different. That's how I came out of Falabella and I went into this madness, which took me completely out of my comfort zone. And it has been running since 2014.

What are you currently working on?

Ronda has been part of a telluric movement at the country level, regarding how we see ourselves as a society. Today, in disability, we are at a turning point. On April 1st of this year, law 21,015 started, which requires companies with 100 or more workers to hire 1% of their plant with disabilities. Today we are 100% focused on helping companies, to become inclusive from their DNA, so that the hiring of people with disabilities is organic. At the same time, generate a process of empowerment for the group with disabilities, so that it is willing to take these opportunities, and take part as a citizen who has both rights and duties. Also work on breaking paradigms and myths in the families of people with disabilities, which are the first great barrier. Today it is estimated that 7,600 jobs will be opened in the private sector in the coming years, but these people are not empowered and ready to work.

What is your biggest challenge 2018?

Our great foundational project is to create the first socio-labor reintegration center for people with disabilities in Latin America and Chile. After giving a lot of thought to the model, today we understood how it needed to be. There are 1,300 million that we need to work two years and reach 216 people directly. 72 people with disabilities, 36 a year, and two people from their immediate surroundings will be intervened. The most revolutionary thing about this project is that the main tool is the coaching, because what we want to achieve is to break down those psychosocial barriers that people with disabilities and their environment have generated, and that today they do not allow them to empower themselves and be autonomous. It is a project that will cover, in a first stage, people with physical disability or reduced mobility, and people with sensory disabilities. The result is that they may be able to study, work, undertake, travel, we do not know, but it will directly impact the lives of their caregivers as well, because that caregiver has to resignify his role, and we also want him to be empowered and come out ahead. This does not exist anywhere in Latin America. We are going to address it on the cultural side, since we want to really generate inclusion.

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

We arrived in Colunga in April 2016, without any weight. We were full of ideas, but nothing concrete, nothing stable. We postulated and it was difficult to enter, because the HUB at that time was more focused on education, and we were inclusion. We got them to accept us and within ten days of entering, our first alliance with Cencosud began, and we transformed the Costanera Center as the most inclusive mall. Then we closed an alliance with Claro, we made more active the Color Run. I will always attribute the outbreak of Ronda having entered ColungaHUB. We entered with two positions in a work table and today we have an office with 15 people hired. Having entered ColungaHUB detonated what we are creating today. I give thanks to the HUB because I feel that it was that space of transformation and creation that gave us extraordinary results. We have always had a network of support, information and collaboration, which has allowed Ronda to be well positioned today.

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