Latin America – a diverse world region. The existence of many big cities in Latin America suggest that many positive economic developments were made in the last decades. However, mainly due to civil wars and political instability, many Latin American countries are experiencing a recession and high unemployment from which above all the poorest suffer. But another global phenomenon is also particularly evident in Latin America: the pollution of the environment, deforestation and climate change first threaten the indigenous people in Latin America first, but then the whole mankind on Earth.
The situation of the people
Travellers visiting remote places on the continent far from the big cities will notice the poverty of many people in Latin America. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of the people are affected. The favelas or slums are growing in the cities because people do not see any perspective in staying in their regions, due to droughts or unemployment. Women are more affected than men as they earn less even if they perform the same work. In addition, there is another big social problem in Latin America: the widely spread illiteracy. Although it was possible to give a growing number of people access to school education, most people later work in the informal sector, where there is no labour legislation to protect them. In Latin America, Kolping wants to be part of a strong civil society in which politics are controlled and visions of the common good are formulated for all people.
How we help
The project work of Kolping began in 1967 in Brazil. The first training centres were founded here. Vocational qualification is an important focus as help for self-help. By now, Kolping is represented in nearly all countries of South America. The vocational and advanced training of young people and adults are still the main issues and also small loans are an important element of the project work since, the people can become self-employed as small entrepreneurs thanks to the acquired knowledge. Apart from the associational work, the focus in South America lies on social assistance for children and their families as well as on cistern projects in the northeast of Brazil.