Focus on: Vilma Cabezas, Executive Director of Fundación Unes Chile

February 8, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

"We have received all the support and affection of the people who work in ColungaHUB and of all the organizations"

We talked with Vilma Cabezas, who tells us how she has been developing, with perseverance and dedication, a project that seeks to help young people and children with few opportunities to be able to insert themselves in the educational and labor system.

How did you get to civil society?

He was always born in me, as an inheritance from my father, the desire to help. When I came to live in Peumo I was able to see many children without completing their secondary education and working informally. I did a survey and the result indicated that there were no financial resources to continue studying. That's when the idea of forming a foundation that had within its objectives to deliver education with stable labor insertion was born. I have had all the support of my family, my husband has been a fundamental pillar in this way, it has not been easy. Ignorance in the management of an institution has made us make some mistakes, but today, with Colunga, we feel more secure and supported.   

What is the organization currently working on?

In Unes Chile Foundation we work in training and educating young people who for various reasons could not access a professional education, delivering trades they can perform within a company. We take care of your job placement and we follow them for a while in the workplace. We have courses and workshops that we develop with women, where we teach them tailoring, and once finished the workshop they go with their sewing machine to start their business. Within the workshops they acquire accounting knowledge, and we connect them with existing networks, so that they opt for different types of financing that exist in the market, both public and private.

We also work supporting rural schools to teach transversal skills to children, such as self-esteem, leadership, bullying, among others. The main idea is to prevent school dropouts, since in rural areas the rate tends to grow.

Photo: Unes Chile

What is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is to involve the companies in the area, so that we can develop concrete projects that benefit the community directly, uniting capacities with needs and wills with weaknesses. We want to be the nexus between the public and private sphere, in order to get as many mentors as are willing to donate their time in our causes.

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

Wonderful, we are in the process of learning. We have received all the support and affection from the people who work at ColungaHUB, and from all its organizations. We are very grateful to all and motivated to move forward.

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