Spreading hope through education. Photo: Cortesía OIM

This situation presents an urgent challenge to rural education as the main support for development in the field. In the first place, it is responsible for strengthening the capacity of rural territories to articulate sustainable dynamics around productive and local development; secondly, to overcome the adequacy gap between the competitive needs of the sector, and the knowledge and technical qualification offers that are required for progress in the development of the rural sector.

Faced with the reality of the aging of producers, work is already underway in Nariño to strengthen the technical educational institutions in the Subregion of Mayo, to guarantee a generational change through a relevant education model that responds to the needs of the context.

To the date, there are educational institutions where most of the students are children of producers and empirically know the process of production, benefit and marketing; where progress has been made in the construction of pertinent institutional educational plans focused on the strengthening of the coffee value chain that allows for the promotion of integral training processes that strengthen the institution’s installed capacity so that the coffee farm is promoted as an opportunity of rural development and an alternative income for families.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), through the Rural Development project with Territorial approach DRET, financed with the Canadian Embassy’s resources, implemented a project for pertinent rural education in partnership with the Departmental Secretariat of Education, the Municipalities of Albán, Gómez, La Cruz and Colón; the Mariana University, the SENA and the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

The project that is being carried out in the educational institutions of Cabuyales Microenterprise, La Victoria Agropecuario, Juan Bolaños Polytechnic and Divino Niño, has the purpose of empowering young people, who, from a business perspective, continue with the production, not only primary, but in the progress
of processes in the value chain.

Processes such as the training in determination of coffee qualities, the resignification of the PEI, the articulation of the secondary education with the SENA
and the financing of undertakings of young people through a Student Entrepreneurship Fund, the constitution of the School Network Farmers with entrepreneurial leadership and the adoption of the model “Rural Youth, Education and Rural Development” articulated to institutional PEIs, are concrete actions that meet the objectives of training young people who perceive rural lifestyle as a
decent life opportunity.

And so, Rural youth staying in their territory, living in a field with opportunities,
is also helping in the construction of peace in our Department.