This is a story about a service that is as basic as it is essential, but that in some parts of the world is still only within reach of a few. We are talking about education.
In the city of La Dorada, Colombia, there lives a strong, hard-working and perseverant woman. Rosalbina Álvarez is the mother of two daughters whose education she has paid for by selling products by catalog. A trade that is shared by a team of more than 40 women that she manages.
9 years ago, she joined the Colombian institution in the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, and since then, little by little, she has been achieving one goal after another. “For whatever reason, God sent me an angel. That angel came directly from Bancamía, who explained what I had to do to get a loan”, she says. With the microcredits the institution has been granting her, she has succeeded in changing the present and the future of her daughters, giving them the opportunity to do something she was never able: to study. That is why she has always tried to do the best for her daughters, “so they could study, so they won’t have to scrape for money to survive”. Her goal is a reality today, because both girls have finished their studies and are working. The elder is a dentist in Medellín and the younger, a single mother who lives with Rosalbina, is a dental assistant in a dentist’s practice in her town.
“The greatest legacy that one can leave their children is education. I cannot find the words to describe what it means to me now that my daughters are professionals. It is as though I have left them an inheritance. It’s my pride, the completion of a huge amount of effort,” she explains. Even after everything she has achieved, Rosalbina is still thinking big and aspiring to achieve more, with her sights set on her younger daughter also becoming a dentist so that in the future she can get a better-paid job.
Stories like Rosalbina’s bring to life BBVAMF’s contribution to achieving the United Nations’ SDG 4. A goal that identifies guaranteeing inclusive, gender-neutral and good-quality education, as well as encouraging learning opportunities for all.
Rosalbina, a reference for her female neighbors
This entrepreneur is a key member of her community. Since she started working with Bancamía, she has not only received economic support, but also financial training. She then passes this training to the women’s group she leads in her neighborhood so that, like her, they can improve their lives and that of their families’. “I tell my ladies that the only way to have ‘good’ children is by educating them. How? By working to enable them to prosper”, she continues.
Because of all the advice and help she gives her female neighbors, Rosalbina has become a person of reference in the area. She defines herself as a woman who wants all children to have access to an education, and to do that, she encourages these women to work, “to persevere” and “not to be subjected by their husbands”. Because she knows that education is a guarantee for the future, and that is the message she wants to transmit and will always pass on to the people around her.
If you want to watch Rosalbina’s complete video, click here