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Becoming an Assumptionist

Augustins
de l'Assomption




Assumption Solidarity Campaign 2019

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2018-12-20 - Colombia

Andean Province

« Toward the self-sufficiency of women in situations of fragility. »

1. Summary

Each year the Plenary General Council/PGC proposes to th the entire Assumption Family a project that encourages concrete solidarity with an Assumptionist community or work in need of financial assistance. The PGC chooses a project that, because of its specific characteristics, does not easily qualify for financing that might be obtained through the Office of Development and Solidarity (BDS).

So it is that each year the Assumption Solidarity Campaign invites communities of the Congregation, Assumption lay groups, and Assumptionist works (parishes, educational institutions, etc.) to find ways to provide financial aid to the chosen project.

For the year 2019, the project chosen by the PGC is one offered by « Mi Hogar Asuncionista » (My Assumptionist Home) in Colombia that aims at developing a small training program for single and poor women in the manufacture of jewelry in view of providing them with a small income.

The foundation « Mi Hogar Asuncionista » is a foundation in Bogota, Colombia, that tries to provide aid, training, and moral support to street people and poor families in this capital city of Colombia. Recognized and supported by the Andean Province, this foundation is run by lay Assumptionists.

Should the collection of funds surpass the needs of this project, the PGC has decided that the surplus would be used for the purchase of farming land in East Africa that would support the self‐financing of the new Vice‐ Province of East Africa.

2. The Mi Hogar Asuncionista Foundation

Legally established on May 16, 2009, the « Fondacion Mi Hogar Asuncionista » (Funmiha) is a non‐profit organization run by the Lay‐ Religious Alliance of the Congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption. For ten years it has been serving the at‐risk population of Bogota, capital of Colombia. Its stated goal is « to provide a full range of services to at‐risk populations in the city of Bogota by means of various programs that touch upon the following dimensions: socio‐cultural, psychological, spiritual, financial, educational and family‐oriented. The foundation is rooted in the Assumptionist spirit that calls us to be men and women of faith, men and women of communion, and men and women in solidarity with the poor and least among us and so to contribute to the coming of the Kingdom of God in us and around us. » To achieve this goal the foundation uses a house which the Province acquired and placed at its disposition.

The foundation focuses its activity in three areas:

aid to the homeless;

after‐school assistance;

« familias con pan » (families with bread »), that attempts to provide support to at‐risk families.

Today, the foundation counts some 15 volunteers, professionals working in primary or university‐ education, who offer their time and skill free of charge. The foundation also maintains an ever‐ growing group of benefactors that provide financial and in‐kind gifts.

The foundation undertakes its activities in the « Barrios Unidos » district to the west of downtown Bogotá and includes 41 neighborhoods. According to the last census, the district counts some 240,000 inhabitants. The population is made of 22.7% of individuals under the age of 15, 30.4% between the ages of 15 and 29, 39.2% between 30 and 63, and 7.7% over 64. As to the socio‐ economic level of the inhabitants, « Barrios Unidos » constitutes a fairly homogenous population, of which 63.8% fall within « Level 3 » (« few resources »), which means that most of the persons in this area tend to be poor and are facing an unfavorable financial situation.

3. General goals of the project.

We want to develop a partnership program with women who come to the foundation where they take part in certain programs that they are offered such as «Families with bread», «My decision, my future» or «Educate with love », women who are affected by the unfavorable economic situation of the country. We want to help out with the social and integral development of these needy women, who, because of their poor level of education and training, do not benefit from decent work and are, therefore, in crisis situations: unemployed, with limited financial resources, and some who are very young and unable to pursue their studies. Some have many children and others are single mothers who are facing enormous challenges and difficulties in educating their children.

We want to propose a possible solution to this lack of education and reduce the conditions of poverty of these women by means of a training program in the manufacture of fashion jewelry in order to generate funds and to improve their quality of life. This project aims to have them rise above their current situation and to improve the quality of life of their children.

4. Beneficiaries of the project.

We would like to begin with a group of 20 women between the ages of 18 and 52: 6 of them between the ages of 16 and 20 (two single mothers and all of them dependent on their parents or grands‐parents 7 between the ages of 20 and 30, who have between 1‐4 children; The others are between 30 and 52. Two of them have, respectively, 8 and 9 children.

In general, it can be said that their level of training is poor and that, without stable employment, they cannot count on a regular source of income. The youngest among them have not pursued their studies for lack of financial resources or because of early motherhood.

5. Specific goals of the project.

The program will have the following specific goals:

to learn how to establish a business plan. to learn how to market one’s merchandise.

to identify the skills of each participant in order to maximize productivity.

to encourage self‐esteem with motivational talks within the training environment. to foster changes in attitudes and values in order to improve family relations.

to encourage responsibility and respect for the demands of participation in the program.

In order to attain these goals, we will require of program participants punctuality and respect for the training schedule as well as a personal commitment to fully participate in program activities. After two unjustified absences, a participant will be asked to leave the program.

6. Description of the training.

The training will consist of 16 weekly sessions of three hours each. Each session will take place as follows:

In the first hour of the session, the women will be motivated to attain their goals, will develop specific skills, and will be shown how to rediscover themselves as autonomous and valued individuals. In the following two hours, training will focus specifically on the conception of different styles of quality bracelets and necklaces and the use of tools.The training space will be equipped with suitable furniture: tables, chairs, lights and cases to house all material. Production will take place as skills for manufacturing various products progresses. The demands for quality will always be high. All finished products will pass quality control.

Marketing and sale of merchandise will take place as follows:

By word‐of‐mouth of all persons associated with the foundation, including volunteers and friends.

A sales counter that will be organized after Mass on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at the chapel of Manuel d’Alzon primary and secondary school.

A campaign to make the entire community at Manuel d’Alzon Institute (students, teachers, and parents) aware of this project and its products.

Eventually we also hope to develop a partnership network with jewelry companies who are looking to outsource some of their assembly work. These companies pay for labor and generally provide the materials and models of jewelry to be fabricated.

7. Who will be responsible for overseeing this project?

The one responsible for putting this project in place and overseeing it is Victoria Prada Gil, a lay Assumptionist.

8. Budget.

A very detailed budget has been provided, a summary of which follows:

Identified Financial Resources

                                                                            Pesos                           Dólares                     Euro 

Basic equipment
(tables, chairs,      
lighting, etc.)                                                   3 183 540 COP            1 123 USD               909 €  

Primary materials: set‐up                              6 565 032 COP             2 315 USD              1 874 €  

Primary materials: follow‐up                         3 282 516 COP             1 158 USD               937 €    

TOTAL costs of material                                 1 685 850 COP             595 USD                  481 €    

TOTAL costs of training                                   844 293 COP                 298 USD                  241 €  

Administrative costs                                        685 847 COP                 242 USD                  196 €  

TOTAL                                                                15 561 231 COP            5 488 USD               4 442 €        

Local financing                                                  2 530 143 COP              892 USD                   22 €        

Financing requested                                     13 031 088 COP            4 595 USD                3 720 €  


9. Bank information.

Attention: the information regarding bank accounts has changed with respect to previous years.

To send your contributions:

In US dollars:

Banca Popolare de Sondrio

Intestazione: ASSUMPTIO ADVENIAT

Filiale: 096 ROMA - AG. 7

Rapporto: 074-0827680-EDC-USD

BIC/SWIFT: POSOIT2106N

IBAN: IT04 S056 9603 207E DCUS 0827 680

BIC/SWIFT SEDE: POSOIT22

ABI-CAB: 05696-03207

In euros:

Banca Popolare de Sondrio

Intestazione: ASSUMPTIO ADVENIAT

Filiale: 096 ROMA - AG. 7

Rapporto: 074-0827680-EDC-EUR

BIC/SWIFT: POSOIT2106N

IBAN: IT60 G056 9603 207E DCEU 0827 680

BIC/SWIFT SEDE: POSOIT22

ABI-CAB: 05696-03207