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Puentes al futuro (Bridges to the future)

Building and strengthening bridges between venezuelans migrants and refugees and the rights and services they need to thrive.

Photo of Alianzas Movilizatorio
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Since 2016, Colombia has been the main recipient Venezuelan migrants and refugees worldwide. More than 1.400.000 venezuelans are currently in Colombia. Without a plan to deal with this massive migration, it has entailed, on the one hand, numerous migrants in vulnerable conditions lacking access to jobs, basic services and rights, and discriminatory behaviors, while on the other hand, it has driven new solidarity actions of organizations and citizens to provide help to venezuelans. We have identified the limited access to rights and services as the main problem that prevents integration of venezuelans in Colombia, while also having identified 3 root causes for this problem: 1) Unfair representations and stigmatization of venezuelans, 2) Deficient connection between supply (Colombian community, private and public sector) and demand of rights and services and (3) Structural causes such as legal documentation, limited capabilities of colombian institutions, the limited size of the colombian economy. Puentes al futuro is a project that aims to build bridges between venezuelans and the services and rights they need in order to thrive and integrate successfully into colombian society, by tackling the non-structural root causes of this disconnection between supply and demand. In order to tackle unfair representations, we will include a digital campaign to make visible solidarity actions between Colombians and Venezuelans with the purpose of creating new narrative to change behaviors towards migration. Additionally, in order to solve the disconnection between supply and demand, we will develop digital platforms that will connect more efficiently supply and demand of opportunities, rights and services by bringing together information, services, rights and procedures to support Venezuelan citizens that have had to migrate to Colombia and, finally, from there, it attempts to generate constructive dialogue scenarios to create solutions for challenges in migrant inclusion.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Venezuelan migrants between 18 and 39 years located in Bogotá. This is the largest age group (aprox. 80% of all migrants) and Bogotá is the main destination in Colombia for venezuelans with more than 350.000 venezuelans in the City. This group comprise Venezuelans who have decided to leave the country because of the lack of conditions that enable them to enjoy a life with dignity and rights, and they arrive to Colombia, searching for new and better opportunities for them and their families.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Puentes al futuro seeks to build bridges and strengthen already existing ones between Venezuelan migrants and the rights and services they need to thrive. It focuses on strengthening or building bridges with the private sector, the international community, colombian institutions and colombian citizens. We believe that working in connecting those actors will open more doors for venezuelans migrants and will provide a better scenario for Venezuelan inclusion in national dynamics.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Access to fundamental rights and services that Venezuelans need to be part of Colombian society. There are several barriers that impede them to fully integrate into the country and prevent them from accessing basic rights. Fortunately, there are several newly-born bridges that could help venezuelans overcome these barriers. In Colombia multiple organizations, public institutions, ONGs and citizens are working to provide better conditions and opportunities for these migrants. However, most of these efforts are dispersed and don’t count with the right channels to reach the users. Puentes al futuro will act as that channel of connection so that existing support concerning job opportunities, transportation information, legal procedures, migrant networks and entertainment arrive to the beneficiaries they should. Bringing together all those initiatives in one site will allow to initiate more collaborative work that will propel in quality and quantity the attention given to venezuelans.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

-Venezuelans will have more and better access to rights and services -The visibilization of solidarity actions an existing efforts to help venezuelans, will contribute to create new narratives towards migration -New narratives towards migration will help reduce discriminatory behaviors. -Organizations, public institutions, ONGs and citizens that currently work to support venezuelan migrants will have a space to join forces and collaborate -All actors involved in the attention of venezuelan migrant population will have effective channels to inform and reach their beneficiaries -Venezuelan migrants will have a platform to search for solutions to the difficulties they are facing in different aspects (education, job, health, networks, information) -Migrants will quickly manage to get involved in social and economic dynamics at the destination place -Facilitate co-development, transculturation and economic retribution scenarios, leading to enjoy the profits of migration

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

According to a recent study from SJR (Venezuela), Centro Gumilla, UCAT, IIES-UCAB 82.8%, of venezuelan migrant population considers essential to achieve social integration. Also, the International Organization for Migrations, mentioned that when asked what they need, most Venezuelans reply that all they want is an opportunity to work (78 %). Taking into account a great percentage of Venezuelan refugees and migrants are between 18 and 40 years old, Colombia has a great opportunity to strengthen its economy. With this initiative we have to work for allowing migrants and receptors to be aware of the importance of migrants as something necessary for the socio-economic progress of the host country. This is the approach that inspires the idea of Puentes al futuro; going beyond assistencialism in order to build bridges between venezuelans and real opportunities that will enable them to thrive and incorporate them to local dynamics that benefits development and life quality at host places.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Colombian society has had several reactions towards migration. From the political point of view, the state has taken several actions in order to respond to the situation, such as issuing documentation that allows migrants to be legally in the country, but that has several limitations. From a societal point of view, there have been mixed reactions: A few xepnophobia outbursts have taken place, but there have also been numerous solidarity actions of colombians towards venezuelans. At Bogotá, the venezuelan community amount to more than 350.000 immigrants. The city, on the other hand, is home to more than 8 million inhabitants, and accounts to more than 30% of Colombia's GDP and has a low unemployment rate, 10%, which means it has an important absorption capacity. In this context, thousands of venezuelans are struggling to find decent income generation activities, having many of them asking for money or selling candies in the streets, and many others working in precarious conditions.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

In Colombia there are various initiatives that work to support venezuelans in the process of arriving and settling. Nevertheless the channels of delivering this help are limited and efforts are dispersed. Puentes al futuro wants to get the best out of those existing actions, strengthen bridges of solidarity and productivity and amplify the scope of attention. It will: 1. Create new narratives to change discriminatory behaviors towards migration through out a digital campaign. 2. Strengthen bridges between venezuelan migrants and all actors that are working to deal with this situation by: -Creating a job search engine to expand enezuelans migrants possibilities of contracting companies, and making it easier for companies for recruiting venezuelans. -Create a platform where all organizations can post their offers, and all venezuelan migrants can registers 3. Generate constructive dialogue scenarios to create solutions for daily challenges in migrant inclusion.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) will be partners with us in relation to the design and creation of campaigns, communications or experiments, given their expertise in behavior science. The Bogotá Chamber of commerce will be an important ally in the field related to building bridges with the private sector and the job search engine platform, UNHCR and IOM will be very relevant for centralizing the information regarding international organizations supporting venezuelans, and Migración Colombia will be very important for working with the public sector.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name


Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

MOVILIZATORIO is a citizen engagement and social innovation lab for Colombia that combines strategy, communications, technology, partnerships and research to mobilize people and key stakeholders to build and support high impact social initiatives. We collaborate and partner with many organizations to build more effective platforms and methods of engagement for a more inclusive Colombia. The lab manages various specific projects in which 12 social issues are transversal: peace, reconciliation, environment, youth empowerment, fake news, education, gender equality, human rights, anti-polarization, early childhood, anti-racism and inclusion. Movilizatorio has the largest network of activists in Colombia, El Avispero, which connects 93,000 people in 18 regions. The organization has an operational team of 20 people from different disciplines and labor background that work together to achieve our goal of boosting collective power towards social change.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a Private Sector Corporation

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Bogotá D.C.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Diogenes Infante

Hola, Mi nombre es Diógenes Infante tengo propuesto esta idea: Creo que tenemos varios puntos comunes, uno sobre todo: nuestros migrantes. Vamos a conectarnos, aquí en el norte del Ecuador tenemos una comunidad de profesionales que estamos organizándonos para trabajar en la atención de los migrantes. Por ejemplo, estamos desarrollando sensores inteligentes para la agricultura y tenemos una propuesta de una granja. Por favor, revisa mi propuesta y déjame tus comentarios. Así vamos avanzando. Saludos.

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