BOGOTA – Spain’s Queen Sofia was joined by Colombian first lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez on Tuesday on a visit to a job-training project funded by Spanish foreign aid agency AECID.
The queen toured each of the spaces comprising the training facility in the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria, and she was particularly interested in the activities of the students she met there.
At each of the workshops, Sofia asked the young people what kind of work they were doing with an eye toward later holding a meeting with workers from non-governmental organizations.
The queen is on her annual aid trip to several countries and on this occasion she is visiting Colombia and then Ecuador, sources with the Royal Household told Efe.
Queen Sofia is being accompanied on her trip by AECID chief Soraya Rodriguez, and she made it known that Spain is committed to Colombia’s economic and social development.
The network of job-training schools operating in Colombia with Spain’s help so far has trained more than 4,000 young people with a contribution from AECID of 2.6 million euros ($3.64 million) during the 2006-2010 period.
The methodology is governed by the “learn by doing” principle that is based on providing training by having the students work on real projects.
The schools thus have a double social and cultural dimension, offering training, carrying out projects for the public benefit and providing social inclusion for the young people to prevent them from seeking to join armed illegal groups.
Following the visit to the school, Queen Sofia traveled to the Casa de Nariño, Colombia’s presidential palace, where a luncheon will be held in her honor before departing for the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena. EFE