Holcim Colombia: Centro Juvenil Campesino.

Holcim Colombia: Centro Juvenil Campesino

In 1998, Holcim's Colombian subsidiary developed a project to provide secondary education and agricultural training to children of local farmers, and promote environmental awareness and improvement around its cement facility in Nobsa.

The project was driven by the local plant managers, who hoped to train the youth of the region so that they would not feel forced to leave.

With initial costs of approximately USD 220,000, and with the enthusiastic participation of the entire workforce, a school center (Centro Juvenil Campesino) with a total floor space of 1,500 m2 was constructed in 83 days.

Around 116 girls and boys from the local farming and mining communities in which Holcim Colombia is active now attend the school regularly. They are taught to use their country's resources in a sustainable manner and contribute to the well-being of their families and region. Education and farming are the school's main programs managed by 8 teachers.

The children live at the center from Monday to Friday. Each morning they are taught educational basics and the afternoons are devoted to agricultural skills at the school's farm, learning to grow and cultivate the produce needed to turn their homes into self-supporting farms.

The center admits thirty children (aged 11 to 13) every year. The students graduate after six years. Since 2005, 47 students have graduated from the center in two promotions Another 25 students will graduate in 2008.. Also, a plan for improving the teaching quality has been implemented since 2008.