Following a nationwide call in which nearly a thousand micro-entrepreneurs from Bancamía, an entity of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, nominated their children’s educational dream, as a result five undergraduate scholarships were awarded to young people with limited economic resources.
Each scholarship recipient will receive their semester payments and a monthly maintenance allowance for the duration of the degree. Young people also got a computer as an aid in their studies.
These grants were awarded by BBVA Group President, Carlos Torres Villa, at a ceremony a few days ago in Bogotá, according to the bank in a statement. During the ceremony, Torres encouraged young people to emulate their parents’ efforts, as “there is no better inheritance for our children than education,” and noted that “it is the key to advancing people and developing society. Society. It is an engine for growth, a door to opportunity, and a strength, perhaps most important, to correct inequalities.”
For 2021, the number of applications increased by more than 60% compared to the previous year, according to the establishment of the banking entity. Of these, 72 percent were women entrepreneurs, 81 percent were economically vulnerable, 34 percent were in rural areas and 42 percent had a primary education.
“At BBVA, we are convinced that education is the best way to build a more equitable and inclusive society, and this Transforming Realities Scholarship initiative that we are implementing with Bancamía is a clear example of our resolute support for the education of thousands of children” and youth in the country,” said Mario Pardo Bayona, CEO for the BBVA in Colombia.
Bayona emphasized that he was relieved to meet the five finalists from different regions of the country and the scholarship winners in person. “Hearing about their positive energy, spirit of conquering, and culture of effort fills me with optimism regarding the future of our initiative and above all regarding the future of the youth of this country,” he said.
On his part, Miguel Angel Charia Livano, CEO of Bankamia, emphasized that 43% of the micro-entrepreneurs served by Bankamia have primary education for the most part, and when they talk to them, one of their great goals is to be able to provide them with an education. their children.
By tracks, in a mode of transport that could take an hour, by car, motorbike or on foot, Sebastian Carreño Pinzon went to school daily from the rural area of El Carmen de Chocuri, in Santander, where he lives with his mother and younger brother. They live on a small farm where they grow cocoa, avocado, cassava and bananas. Today, the young son of entrepreneur Yamil Pinzon, who is a widow and mother of two children, will study agronomy.
Together with Sebastian, four other young people have won the BBVA Scholarship and the Bancamía Transforming Realities Scholarship. This is the case of Mario Alexandre Neespa Diaz, of Bogotá, who came second. Mario is the son of a small entrepreneur Luz Nelly Diaz-Torres, a 55-year-old woman who has devoted herself to working as a make-up artist, before on TV channels, and now with her neighbors and acquaintances, she sells beauty products and teaches some courses; She is a cancer survivor, like Mario, who today talks about the second chance life has given him to realize his dream of studying film and television directing and production, and thus be able to tell his story to help other children.
Bilquis Xiomara Correia Vega came third, from the city of Cúcuta (Norte de Santander), where she lives with her mother, Blanca Yánez Vega, who is a supporter of a family and a small entrepreneur dedicated to selling halaka. The Vikings, food and products catalog. The young woman’s goal is to study child-rearing, because, as she says: “I want to teach children about love so that they grow up happy and not face as many difficulties as those that touched me at home.”
The life and entrepreneurship stories of Angela Carina Sánchez Alfonso, daughter of the 52-year-old businessman Adolfo Sánchez, owner of a welding, forging and brass workshop in the municipality of Bor (Casanare) are also recognized.a father of six, says enthusiastically that his biggest wish is to see his daughter become a child-rearing professional.
Luisa Fernanda Bautista Reyes, a young woman from a rural area of the municipality of Racura (Boiaca), is inclined towards health sciences. She is the daughter of micro-entrepreneur Blanca Reyes, a craftsman of 17 years, and mother of four, one of whom has a special condition, motivating this intern to prepare herself further to contribute to her care.