The microphone is on, the levels under control and a young radio host begins to speak: “Hello and welcome to “Our daily heroes”, a space for young people brought to you through the La Calera Youth Set Sail project”.
That’s what youth community radio in Cundinamarca sounds like, helping young people in the municipality to find information about work, entrepreneurship and education opportunities, as well as other activities.
“It’s satisfying to see that there are people for whom an opportunity can open up the future,” says Laura Prieto, from the Friends Association of La Calera Radio (ARAC in Spanish).
Like those from La Calera, more than 5,500 young people of 11 organizations from six Colombian departments already have access to education, work or political participation thanks to projects coordinated by the Antonio Restrepo Barco Foundation, and financed by the Japan Social Development Fund, which is managed by the World Bank.
Catalina Jimenez, Coordinator for the Foundation’s projects, says that there are opportunities in Colombia for youth who want to work, study or get involved in politics. “The problem that this project tries to solve is breaking down barriers to information access,” she says.
It’s a problem that needs to be faced, judging by the youth unemployment data: between April and June 2012, 19.1% of Colombia youth were unemployed, according to statistics from DANE, the National Administrative Department of Statistics.