Working with communities, working for Colombia
Fundacion Vichituni was founded by Petrominerales in 2006, and is the core of our voluntary and sustainable community investment strategies in Colombia. Petrominerales funds and supports all Fundacion Vichituni initiatives.
Vichituni means “you are worthy” in the indigenous Embera language and represents the principles upon which our Fundacion Vichituni is built. We believe that inclusion and shared responsibility are key to fostering community solidarity, growth and independence. Operating within and beyond Petrominerales’ immediate areas of influence, Fundacion Vichituni works with community groups, local authorities, professional associations and national institutions to create and promote programs and projects that encourage medium and long term sustainable development.
Fundacion Vichituni implements voluntary programs under three strategic pillars:
Income generation focuses on long-term local and regional sustainability to strengthen commercial and productive capacities. Projects based on agricultural produce include technical assistance and market linkage components. For example, we provide support to cacao producers in the Corcel, Guatiquia, and Llanos 15 blocks, and provide support to pineapple producers in the Corcel and Guatiquia blocks. Other projects support entrepreneurship and business development, such as assisting an artisan with design, marketing and business-skills. In addition, our Business Development and Strengthening Programs are both currently under implementation in Corcel and Guatiquia, and will begin in our Rio Ariari heavy oil block in 2012. The Foundation also participates in a micro-credit and a financial education program in several municipalities throughout Meta and Casanare, including communities influenced by the operations within the Corcel, Guatiquia, Casimena, Mapache, and Llanos 25 and 31 blocks.
Leadership development and community transformation focuses on locally-based empowerment, leadership and social development. Foundation Vichituni supports a training course for gender equality and entrepreneurial development in the Corcel, Guatiquia, Casimena, and Llanos 31 blocks. The Foundation also represents Petrominerales as the only private sector participant in providing funding and editorial contributions for a National quarterly magazine on matters relevant to public administration, local development, and governance for municipal councillors. Furthermore, we support a community-based initiative in the CPI Orito and Las Aguilas blocks to encourage community integration and local opportunities, and we promote youth leadership skills, community participation and environmental awareness and protection through youth-based environmental campaigns across the country.
Environment projects led by Fundacion Vichituni integrate Petrominerales departments with local, regional, and national institutions responsible for environmental education, conservation, and protection of Colombia’s biodiversity. We are active members of environmental education campaigns developed by Corporinoquia and Corpoamazonia, and are looking to expand our involvement by participating in future conservation and biodiversity programs designed by these organizations.
Fundacion Vichituni continues to establish partnerships with communities and their local governments, national institutions and other private sector and developmental associations, and has assumed an active role in promoting industry-wide efforts for regional development.