At a series of working meetings in Bogotá in late November and early December, the Network worked with local social protection stakeholders to launch a social protection education programme aimed at young people starting their careers.
At the request of GESTAR SALUD, the Colombian federation of mutual health societies and member of AMA (Alianza del Mutualismo de América) and the AIM (International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies, an Education and Solidarity Network founding organisation), a series of meetings took place between 24 and 26 November in Bogotá to discuss a social protection education programme and, in a wider sense, the mobilisation of solidarity stakeholders with a view to improving social protection in Colombia and Latin America.
A number of intense and practical working meetings were attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education and the ‘Social Enterprises’ Administrative Unit which reports to the Ministry of Employment, academics and representatives of social enterprises involved in the Colombian social protection system. There were two important outcomes:
- The decision to launch a social protection education campaign aimed at young people starting their careers, with an initial pilot module on mutual benefit societies; the intention is to reuse this module and adapt it for other countries covered by the AMA;
- The launch of a panel discussion for social enterprises involved in social protection, whose task will be to promote the status, role and initiatives of these stakeholders with a view to improving social protection in Colombia and maintaining dialogue with the public authorities; the Network will be an observing member of this panel discussion.
The Network will support and provide content for the education programme, notably through the CIESS (Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies) and its local partner CODESS (Corporacion para el Desarrollo de la Seguridad Social) which are already very actively involved in social protection education programmes for children in Colombia.
The working group was set up on 4 December to enable implementation by early 2015 and presentation of the initial results of the module on mutual benefit societies in June 2015 at a conference organised by the ‘Social Enterprises’ Administrative Unit with the Mont Blanc Meetings.
This pioneering work will, of course, be incorporated in the work for our General Meeting in Ottawa.