Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "It would be nice if all trades became a fashion, a 'trend', to be able to decide whether do this or that job". Fides speaks with Alejandro Marius, founder of "Trabajo y persona", a non-profit civil association born in Caracas, with the mission of promoting the value of work in Venezuelan society. The NGO promotes the dignity of the person through training courses designed and implemented in collaboration with institutions, companies, works of the Church, schools, local universities.
Uruguayan by birth, Venezuelan by adoption with Italian origins (his grandfather was Friulian), Alejandro Marius, fifty, married with 4 daughters, an engineer, with a managerial role in a multinational company for Latin America, leaves everything and founds “Trabajo y persona” in 2009. "Trabajo y persona was born from my vocational path in a professional sense with an experience of discernment - he says -. Especially in my spiritual dialogue with a Benedictine nun I understood more deeply my passion for work in its depth, I understood that all this had to translate into something concrete, something that could help Venezuelans to have a positive relationship with work".
This is the starting point of this story, of this reality in which thirty people work today, over twenty training centers collaborate throughout the country, with more than one hundred trainers; 40% of the three thousand unemployed young people and women who attended his courses, have started their own business. A parish garage has been transformed into a chocolate shop that employs vulnerable women who thus become chocolate entrepreneurs; or, given the very important migratory phenomenon in Venezuela at the moment, in collaboration with the University and the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, training courses for carers have been launched in order to assist the elderly left alone who receive from migrants the money to live on.
The basic idea is "not to assist but to form", accompanying people to provide a service that can guarantee a dignified life.
"The emergency we are experiencing now in our country is that most of the responses regard assistance and are necessary - explains Alejandro Marius -. We try to offer a proposal that is both aid and development. For example, in 2019 we created a CD-book of Venezuelan songs united by a common thread: work. All this was done in collaboration with over 30 Venezuelan musicians and partners of prestige".
Among the specializations offered by the association there is that of hairdresser, taught to women from poor neighborhoods who then work at home or set up a salon at home; there are programs to form entrepreneurs. In addition, the training of unemployed mothers as entrepreneurs in the gastronomic sector is also active: they thus become volunteers at the Caritas canteen, at the same time sustenance is given to them and their children, until the gastronomic activity becomes a job and they can earn a living.
"Our way of acting and operating starts from putting the person at the center - concludes the founder of Trabajo y persona -. The consequence of this is that the person develops skills, attitudes, character, in the relationship with his/her work: in this way the person matures in the care of the Common Home and contributes to the construction of the common good". (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 16/12/2021)