A loan of $1,725 helped to buy a computer and pay application fees for a Masters in Education Administration.

Juan's story

Juan Carlos, 23, was born in Quibdó, capital of El Chocó, on the Colombian Pacific coast. To pay for his Bachelor degree in English and French in the university he worked first as an assistant in a grocery store, then as a private watchman and finally as a pizza cook at a fast-food restaurant. His father died when he was 15-years-old and his mother works as a domestic employee. He currently lives with her and his four younger siblings. This is his story:

A great paradox is lived in Colombia: we are the second-richest country in flora and fauna and we possess minerals in great amounts but we have one of the highest poverty indexes in all Latin America and educational outcomes are among the lowest which show how little pertinence education has in this region.

My mother has always stressed: “It’s not important how much you know if you don’t put it to use serving those most in need,” and this is why I believe that getting a Master’s in Education Policy and Administration would make no sense if not aimed at improving the educational conditions existent today in my place of birth, in Chocó and in Colombia. In my understanding, a pertinent education does exist when it’s aimed at exploiting all the abilities and realities the residents in a region have and directing them towards that region’s development.

At my return to Colombia, I see myself generating new educational policies that will be aimed at a more pertinent education that will be focused on regional needs rather than on copies of foreign models that do not adjust to our own realities thus promoting the use of our strengths.

Whenever I’ve wanted to do something, I’ve been able to and being a Kiva beneficiary would prove once more that where there’s a will a path will always appear. And even though the road and the work I have before me is long and hard, I will only give up when my last breath leaves my being because in the final analysis, “victory belongs to those who make the effort.”

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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