Magazine article Foreign Policy

Answering the Call

Magazine article Foreign Policy

Answering the Call

Article excerpt

At the height of Colombia's civil war in 2002, Mario Escobar, then a 23-year-old economics student in Bogota, noticed a disturbing trend. The Colombian rebel group FARC had started planting land mines--it called them "weapons of the poor"--throughout the countryside. Casualties from the mines began mounting; between 2001 and 2006, deaths tripled to more than 1,100 a year. Thousands more rural farmers and peasants were injured, and many of those maimed were forced to move to cities and beg to survive.

Eager to assist these land-mine victims, Escobar and several friends came up with a unique strategy: train them to work in call centers. Such work requires little physical movement. Eccos Contacto Colombia, the project they founded, hosts nine-month call-center training courses for disabled victims of conflict. And though call centers often suffer from high turnover rates--the jobs are generally filled by young professionals who consider the job a starting point on the employment ladder--disabled workers, who suffer from an 80 to 90 percent unemployment rate throughout the region, can be less inclined to leave a job that suits their capabilities. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.