A new contribution to local development in the Municipality of Torres, Venezuela
Created on August 16, 1996, the mission of our organization, Fundación para la Capacitación y Mejoramiento Social del Joven Torrense (Foundation for the Training and Social Improvement of Youth in Torres) —FUNCAMET, is to develop and implement training projects with local youth on family issues, human well-being, and improved standards of living in the Municipality of Torres, State of Lara, which is located 500 kilometers west of Caracas.
FUNCAMET has specialized in submitting proposals to national and international bodies, and in successfully implementing social projects that benefit young people in Torres. This has also generated additional jobs for other professionals in the region. Since 1997, the Foundation has provided free training to over 2,000 young people with scant economic resources, as well as medical and dental assistance. Out of a total of 336, Torres is ranked 34th among the poorest municipalities in Venezuela.
FUNCAMET, which focuses on local development, has sought the support of international organizations to work with youth with scant resources. This support has been pivotal to its own development and now, despite the current limitations and hurdles in Venezuela, FUNCAMET is capable of developing its proposals and projects due to its capacity, and the innovative and creative vision of its management team. After bidding against other NGOs, the Foundation obtains resources for its projects, which are approved and developed with the hope of helping Torres youth excel and advance, by using non-formal ways of training so that they can develop productive skills to be applied locally.
With the support of the US-based Inter-American Foundation (IAF), Agustin Ibarra Mendoza, Director- General of FUNCAMET received a grant to work and study at the ILO’s Delnet Center in Turin. The course titled “Disaster Risk Reduction in the Context of Local Sustainable Development,” was the initial step to fulfill the need to investigate and develop local initiatives to overcome risk management gaps in Torres.
Although it has not been easy for a local NGO like FUNCAMET to work in areas that have been the focus of emergency response organizations and government bodies, it has strived to facilitate and channel in-house funds to include risk management studies in Torres.
In order to disseminate part of the information learned during the training course and strengthen existing links aimed at learning more about the real status of risk management in Torres, the approach applied by FUNCAMET has included the active participation of other local organization representatives.
Drawing on its connections with the media and education institutions, in July 2007, FUNCAMET will begin a local awareness-raising campaign. The overarching goal of this activity is to gather information on the conditions and needs of local risk management bodies, in order to strengthen initiatives, projects and partnerships, and consolidate present and future operations. Evidently, the results of such systematization of experiences will be shared with all relevant authorities, while encouraging them to play a leading role in local risk management in the near future, within the Municipality of Torres, State of Lara, Venezuela.
We invite you to learn more about FUNCAMET by visiting our website: www.funcamet.org. We also wish to continue learning about and sharing experiences in the field of risk management with NGOs in other countries. This might help us develop new initiatives for this region located in central western Venezuela.
Agustin Ibarra Mendoza,
General - Manager,