Voices from the field

Personal testimonials of some of the project participants, beneficiaries, and stakeholders. 

Colombia

“The training changed my whole perspective on work: the technical training helped me to make constructions and in the entrepreneurship modules I learnt how to calculate the costs, make an offer for my services and how to interact with new customers. Thanks to this I can now generate more income.” 
Johana Gutierrez, Construya

Peru

“Thanks to the training I received, I realised that my own home has a support column that was deteriorating and that this was a problem. I realised that any seismic movement could cause damage to my house if we didn't repair and strengthen the columns that hold up the house.” 
Marcela Atanacioi, Construya

 

Burkina Faso

“Thanks to the loan from my Mara Panga savings and lending group, I can make fabrics to order and make more profit.” Kaboré Augustine, Appui au développement communal

Uganda

“Through the training I received, I developed leadership and social skills that have helped me in managing the people around me. Today, I own my own hair salon, sell hair and beauty products for women, such as braids, weaves, creams and hair treatment products. I also developed a savings culture that enabled me to grow my business from my savings.”  
Amula Nabirye, Local skills development for youth

Guatemala

“When I repaired an electronic device for the first time, I felt overjoyed. Never before had I solved a task so well. I didn't think I could do it - electronics was supposed to be something for men after all.” 
Jessica Rodríguez, GenerAcción

Guatemala

“It is impressive how thanks to the SEC experts, the cheese makers at Mercadito de Lola were able to strengthen their self-esteem just by knowing they were doing their job correctly. The SEC expert also helped build a vision that we as women working in nutritional food can compete anywhere in the world.” 
Lola Molina, Swiss Expert Contact

El Salvador

“I can now pay my bills and support my family, and my income has increased by 80%. My dream is to continue to grow with my company, to get more orders and to be able to help more people, because I went through the same thing, and I know how difficult it is when you can't find work.” 
Rafael Salazar, Nuevas Opportunidades

El Salvador

“Thanks to the training I learned how to keep my bees safe; the technique is actually quite easy to apply, but I just did not know.” 
José Luis, Fomento de la Competitividad para una Apicultura Sostenible

Guatemala

“It is indispensable to prevent teenage and young pregnancies. In our community, the highest rate of pregnancies occurs between the ages of 11 and 19 years of age and those who suffer most are the most vulnerable and excluded populations.” 
Dilia Có Coy, Economic empowerment of indigenous youth and women

Bangladesh

“During the lockdown, it became very difficult and risky for pregnant women to go for regular check-ups in the government hospitals. I started visiting many of the pregnant women in my community for antenatal and postnatal check-ups, while maintaining the appropriate health precautions. Project ASTHA has provided us immense support in safely continuing the regular healthcare services.” 
Rina Akhtar, Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access

Laos/Cambodia

“I was skeptical at first, but through years of the agriculture conservation experiments on my land, I have witnessed and become certain that this practice will cater to my benefits.” 
Chhunhour Leang, Mekong inclusive growth and innovation programme

Cambodia

“In my opinion, the hospitality training is a very beneficial project for Kampot, because it has provided both opportunity and knowledge to hospitality workers who did not have enough skills, and also helped them to obtain higher income.” Lihuoy Tiev, Hospitality Kampuchea, a Hospitality Training Model

Nepal

“I am very happy because I have received a lot of information during the training on how to run a business, and how to become a successful entrepreneur. Previously, I was a housewife. Swisscontact has shown me the world outside of home.” 
Lalita Devi Thakur, Youth enrepreneurship project

Bangladesh

“We do not have many demands. We just want to make sure we have somewhere to go when we eventually retire. That is why we have been saving for so long. But it was always difficult to keep money at our home. It is a lot easier now that we have bank accounts.” 
Shiuly Akhster, Sarathi - Progress through Financial Inclusion

Bangladesh

“I wouldn't have had to face the pains of unemployment if I had taken this training earlier.” 
Giaul Islam, Uttoron - Skills for better life

 

Bolivia

“The collection of used oils is absolutely timely and necessary for our municipality. Swisscontact has collaborated with us in the methodological design of the collection. The waste management allows us to gradually provide a solution to this issue and thus prevent oils from being deposited in storm drains and the sewage system, contaminating the water sources of our city.” 
Mariana Daza, Markets for recycling

Bolivia

“My wish is that Terracycle will be able to recycle all the parts of the tyre and produce higher quality base plates and fibres from them, so that no new raw materials are used for this.” 
Henry Rocha, Ecovecindarios

 

Ecuador

“Thanks to the new drying facilities, we can treat the coffee properly after harvest and protect it from fungal attack. This way we get better prices and share the profit with the hard-working smallholder families.” 
Wilma Velez, Emprende

 

Ecuador

“Through the expertise acquired in Swisscontact's training courses, I have a better understanding of the interrelationships in the ecosystem of plants and soils. Now I grow fine flavoured cocoa, applying the dynamic agroforestry approach with sustainable mixed crops and can harvest different fruits of better quality. This reduces my dependence on world cocoa market prices. Our family income has not only increased thanks to the FINCA project, but it is also more stable and predictable today.” 
Ingrid Sarcos Altamirano, FINCA

 

Lebanon

“I joined the coaching cycle because I like to learn and acquire new knowledge and I want to excel as a successful professional woman. During the coaching sessions, I forget about the discrimination and marginalisation I encounter daily, and for that I am grateful. So far, I have gained many life skills such as communication, time management and analytical thinking.” 
Doaa Tateen, Tafawoq

 

Albania

“Thanks to the coaching cycle I acquired the necessary skills to work as a carpenter. Above all, I regained confidence in myself. My family also benefitted – financially and socially.”  
Franko Rustemi, Coaching for Employment and Entrepreneurship

 

Senior Expert Contact

“We received support from Senior Expert Contact twice: for food technology and marketing, which helped us to significantly improve the shelf-life of the product in the market; and for design and marketing aspects. We also received support to prepare the 10-year strategy of the cooperative.”  
Fahrije Hoti

 

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme

“Our entrepreneurial ecosystem is constantly evolving with new players on the ground - both entrepreneurs and ecosystem supporting organisations. To bring the entrepreneurship ecosystem a step further, we must all work together, collaborate, clearly identify gaps, and effectively push towards the ideal ecosystem that we would like to build. Everyone has a role to play – raising an entrepreneur is a collective community effort.” 
Aneth Batamuliza