The Rural Alternative School of Saravena, in Arauca, started as a pilot project to integrate Venezuelan migrants into our collaboration platforms, integrating them with peasant families and ex-combatants in the process of reincorporation. It focuses its work on the The Rural Development Concentration agriculture and livestock school (CDR) with allies such as Saravena City Hall, Fedecacao, and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
At the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit, an agreement with the Saravena City Hall was signed to support the development of the ERA within three CDR schools to: renew productive projects (such as cacao and citrus fruits) and raise animals that, due to a lack of resources and workforce, had declined in production and continuity. The ERA also produces organic fertilizers and grows food for local consumption.
The Rural Development Concentration student body has been greatly affected by social conflicts in both countries. The school community is made up of people overcoming a wide range of physical and emotional needs including families that have been victims of Colombian armed conflict, ex-combatant families, and Venezuelan migrants. The Saravena ERA looks to improve family nutrition, create employment opportunities, empower women, and serve as an investment platform to scale commercial projects that revitalize the region’s economy.