Project: SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IN CHILE
Funding Partner: CIDA
CEPPAC’s, a Chilean NGO, has three principle programs of social assistance: a education and risk prevention program for child street workers; a vocational training program for youth and women entrepreneurs; and an adult formal education program providing basic education for individuals to obtain their secondary and possibly post-secondary education.
The progressive increase in poverty in Chile is due to low quality jobs and low salaries. The majority of Chilean jobs are insecure, and there is a marked inequality in the distribution and access to available work. The unemployment rate among the poorest 20% of the Chilean population is currently three times the national average. Unequal income distribution over the past 30 years has resulted in 70% of Chilean households earning less than the national average. Continued financial crisis will likely affect the poorest segments of society most severely.
In association with CEPPAC, CFCA with funding from CIDA, has supported a project whose principal objective is to provide income generation opportunites for the families of 60 women in the comunas of San Bernardo and El Bosque. The project also sought to increase community participation and amplify micro-enterprise support networks, resulting in the social and economic integration of poor women into the skilled labour market. Vocational qualification and income generation opportunities offer a sustainable self-employment alternative to menial low-paid labour. This project allowed for the introduction of technical, formative and organizational tools to a marginalized sector of the population. As the project promotes the economic participation of women, it decreased social inequalities between men and women as well as improved quality of life for women. Although the project was directed towards women, it indirectly improved conditions for their families and the community at large.