A loan of $1,350 helped to finance the application expenses for his Master's in interdisciplinary latin american studies.

José Camilo's story

José Camilo is 24 years old and is originally from Quibdó (Colombia), the capital city of Chocó, the department with the largest poverty index and the least developed of the country. He graduated in political science from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, where he studied for 8 semesters, and thanks to his academic achievement, was a scholarship holder.

Currently he is part of the management of La Ciudad Verde [The Green City], a caring collective where they promote sustainable development in cities and regions of Colombia. In university he was the president of Afrojaverianos, a fraternity that reunites students of African descent at Universidad Javeriana. He is an invited columnist in various communication medias where he writes about democracy, politics and development. The prestigious daily El Espectador [The Spectator] nominated him as one of the "most outstanding young afro-colombians."

He wants to do postgraduate studies outside the country, to gain knowledge and experiences that would allow him to better contribute to Colombia. José Camilo considers that studies outside the country allow people to come closer to the problems from the confluence of many looks that strengthen personal views through respectful deliberation. José will study a Master's in Latin-American Studies at the University of Newcastle, where according to him, he will be able to understand the problems of the region from a new perspective and, at the end of his studies, contribute to the development of Colombia and the latin-american region in a creative and responsible manner.

Here is his story:

I was born in Chocó, a department of Colombia possessing a great richness in flora, fauna and natural resources. One of the places with the most biodiversity in the world. But also, the department with the lowest economic development indexes, high rates of illiteracy and great inequalities. I am part of a new generation of Chocoanos, who had the opportunity of educating ourselves in good universities and who now want to make things good for the sustainable development of my region. To contribute to search for this desired balance between conservation of the environment, social equality and economic development.

I am very grateful for the privilege that I have had, thanks to the efforts of my parents. It's because of this that I want to use my opportunities to contribute to the change of my region and help to improve the situation of Colombians in general. I am part of those who think that development and progress will never start in a country when there are inequalities between the regions that make it up and between the people that live there.

My academic curiosity and thirst to contribute to our society have encouraged me to take postgraduate studies outside the country. This has been the reason for which I am requesting admission in the interdisciplinary latin-american studies program at the University of Newcastle in England.

Obtaining the support of Kiva would signify having the funadmental boost in my path to begin this dream of continuing with my academic formation, to be able to be a useful professional who contributes to the growth and sustainable development of Latin America as a region.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer S Mason

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