Ciudad Bolivar is considered the most problematic locality in Bogota. There, all socioeconomic difficulties are found. Many displaced people live in this area; these people is classified into 1 and 2 social stratum and at the edge of poverty. Due to the previous facts, Progressa was founded to make comprehensive development and children, teenagers and youth dignity easier by building family strengthening and community development from their education.
Diego Armando Torres Lopez
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Gustavo A Yepes López
Progressa is a company whose object is to provide education with purpose through an innovative and holistic teaching model which contributes to building and inspiring a peaceful and productive culture. The organization operates in Lucero Alto neighborhood, located in Ciudad Bolivar. The school director is Gloria Cecilia Lezama Bustos, who is the legal agent. "I have lived most of my live in Ciudad Bolivar knowing each problem very well. Problems such as poverty, inequality, child neglect while parents strive for a better life, domestic violence, drug addiction and abuse. These problems led me to develop my vocation of creating an impact on children and youth education ensuring a generational change while reducing risk factors,” Gloria said, to achieve lasting social cohesion by training them as responsible, productive and caring people for their community and the world.
The school used to receive full support by a non-profit organization named Conviventia. However in 2013, the school stopped receiving this support and made the decision of closing the institution. This brought commotion as there was a serious commitment to children, youth and families, workers of the institution and to the community. Since this event the idea of being a self-sustaining institution came up. Then, in 2015 Progressa Lucero SAS was founded. A commercial company with the necessity of expanding its mission, vision, and keep impacting lives so they could go on with its commitment to the community. Pogressa is a private company which earns by the payment of educational services. These collections are made according to previous analysis by the Social Work department verifying the stratum and income level through visits. Then, the amount of collection, which is very low, is agreed on with the parents and there is an agreement of payment. “Those incomes are invested and used for self-sustaining. Besides this, the collections are used to support school graduates who start majors at university. "This help is for the first five semesters,” Gloria said.
Progressa works for a world where people have dignity, integrity and freedom by making holistic development easier and improving quality of life for people in poverty and vulnerability. This task has been seen all along the years of operation since almost every single school graduate gets a place at university and is ready to break generational cycles of poverty. Besides, some of them are now working for the institution as teachers or professionals at other departments due to their vocation of serving and generating impact on others' lives.
Progressa’s work is not limited. They also connect with children’s relatives to generate a mental change and achieve an impact at home so they can expand the reach in the community. For that reason, some mothers became teachers and now support the institution operation. “The schools have a vegetable garden which allows teaching parents and children how to contribute to the care of nature and cultivate in a responsible manner providing ideas of undertaking,” Gloria said.
Progressa generates employment for the community by having more than 40 employees who are from the locality (Ciudad Bolivar). This makes them to have a better quality of life, not just because of the money incomes but for the time they can spend with their families due to working near the school.
As a result of the institution operation, besides the earnings for self-sustaining, since its creation, Progressa Lucero SAS has achieved the recognition of the community for being a qualified educational institution which transforms generations. This has increased the number of students making parents to take part of Progressa Community. These facts make the company to have as a purpose to help other institutions to be self-sustaining and not to depend on other non-profit entities.
“Because of its object and vision, this company has achieved employees to have vocation for change and children, youth and their families transformation; which has made them to have a sense of belonging to the institution and commitment to the problems in the community. At the end, this generates a warm work environment and progress for education professionals,” Gloria said.
The benefit Progressa generates is offering education of quality which contributes to the construction of an inspiring, peaceful and productive culture. On the other hand, they hope school graduates to be able to get into university while they acquire comprehensive development, dignity of life in vulnerable situations, family strengthening and community development. Conflicts resolutions through conciliation boards and thinking towards no physical aggression, aside from the context, are also advantages for social cohesion.
“The institution has a project to raise awareness and train the community about recycling where bags are provided to the neighbors thus contributing to the environment. Furthermore, care of nature is implemented by means of the vegetable school garden,” Gloria said.
Gloria Cecilia Lezama Bustos, Education With Purpose
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Bogotá D.C., Cundinamarca, CO
Business Website: www.conviventia.org
Year Founded: 2015
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Progressa Lucero SAS will be in the 2022 benchmark in the local area for its educational quality, its impact on community development and the transparent management of resources.