17 November 2022

TİKA Keeps Türkiye Alive in Colombia with Its Projects

Dr. Ümit Naci Yorulmaz, Vice President of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), paid a 4-day visit to Colombia to attend the inauguration ceremony for TİKA’s projects and have meetings with the stakeholders of the projects.

On the first day, Vice President Yorulmaz inaugurated the shoe workshop built by TİKA in cooperation with Sincelejo Municipality and the Shoemakers’ Association of Sucre. In his speech at the ceremony, Yorulmaz stated that he was glad to put this facility into service in Sincelejo, which is one of the major shoemaking hubs in Colombia. Yorulmaz noted that the facility will benefit nearly 300 families and offer vocational training to young people.

“The facility built by TİKA will provide hundreds of families with side income”

Andres Gomez, Mayor of Sincelejo, delivered a speech at the ceremony and stated that the facility made a significant contribution to production in Sincelejo and provided hundreds of families with side income. Mayor Gomez thanked the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and TİKA for putting the facility into service.

Later in the program, Dr. Ümit Naci Yorulmaz had a meeting with Hector Espinosa, Governor of Sucre Department, where the city of Sincelejo is located. Yorulmaz stated that he and the Governor exchanged views on project proposals focused on youth employment.

“150 young people are offered vocational training opportunities”

On the second day of the program, Yorulmaz visited the Cartagena Workshop School, where TİKA built woodworking and welding workshops, in Cartagena, which is located in northern Colombia and is one of the major historical and cultural cities in the country. During the visit, Yorulmaz had a meeting with Rafael Cuesta, Principal of the Cartagena Workshop School. He stressed that 150 young people aged between 18 and 29 are offered vocational training opportunities at the workshops built by TİKA. Yorulmaz noted that he and the Principal discussed the deepening of the cooperation with the Workshop School and agreed to renovate the school’s kitchen, where culinary arts are taught, and holding Turkish Cuisine Days events, considering Cartagena’s tourism potential.

“The solid waste processing facility will touch the lives of 450 people”

On the third day of the program, Yorulmaz visited the solid waste processing facility built by TİKA in Soacha, Bogotá, and met Luz Marina Pinto, Chairperson of AASOMED Association, and female entrepreneurs who are members of the association and the beneficiaries of the project. In his statement here, Dr. Yorulmaz noted that the facility built by TİKA would serve key functions regarding support for female entrepreneurs and environmental impact. Yorulmaz added that he admired the fact that women who used to make a living from collecting plastics on the fringes of Bogotá came together under the leadership of Pinto and established an association, which led to the construction of this facility, which will touch the lives of 450 families. He thanked Luz Marina Pinto, the chairperson of the association, for her leadership. On the same day, Dr. Ümit Naci Yorulmaz also visited other Turkish institutions and had a meeting with Beste Pehlivan Sun, the Republic of Türkiye’s Ambassador to Bogotá.

On the last day, Yorulmaz first had a meeting with a delegation led by Sandra Patricia Ramos, Advisor to the Vice President of Colombia for Stability and Consolidation, who is responsible for the ongoing peace process in Colombia. Yorulmaz underlined that Türkiye and TİKA offer continuous support for the peace process, and that TİKA would continue to implement projects focused on this process.

In her statement, Sandra Patricia Ramos said that she was happy with the peace-oriented projects implemented by TİKA, and thanked TİKA for their contribution.

“The Vice President visited the dairy plant built by TİKA”

After the meeting, Yorulmaz went to Armenia, one of the major cities in Colombia, and visited the dairy processing plant built by TİKA and the headquarters of the Quindiana de Atencion Integral Foundation, which is located in the same complex as the plant and offers education to children with special needs. During the visit, Yorulmaz had a meeting with Martha Maria Marin, a director at the foundation. After the meeting, he made a statement and stressed the importance of integration of children with special needs. Yorulmaz noted that 18-year-olds who graduate from the training center built by the foundation are employed at the dairy processing plant built by TİKA. He stressed that their cooperation with the foundation would continue.

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