"I Want Women to Be Empowered"- A Personal Victory in Colombia

Liliana has overcome adversity through hard work and has now inspired a whole community. At 28 years old, Liliana’s future was cut short due to conflict; she grabbed her few belongings and fled with her husband and three children to a safer area of the country. Today, her family situation is different, full of triumphs and accomplished dreams.

TRUJILLO, VALLE DEL CAUCA. – Liliana and her displaced family arrived at the municipality of Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, intending to start a new life. Liliana and her husband were experienced farmers, however, it was difficult to feed their children because they did not have the resources such as seed capital to restore their livelihoods.

"Before we began receiving WFP assistance, my family was in a very difficult situation. My husband did not make enough money to buy agricultural inputs, or to pay for our children’s school uniforms, and let alone enough for us to eat," says Liliana.

Liliana Initiates a Business

The food assistance received through WFP’s Food for Training programme allowed Liliana to feed her children, strengthen her agrarian capacities, and obtain agricultural inputs. With this assistance Liliana and her husband started a business; on a small land they were able to raise chickens and pigs, and grow a vegetable garden. “Our business continued to grow after we participated in an accounting workshop,” she says.

Through these trainings Liliana and other participants have received the necessary tools to create and strengthen their livelihoods, and the opportunity to achieve food sovereignty. 

“The Trainings Have Helped Me in My Personal Life"

Liliana likes attending the training sessions, and sometimes she even invites her relatives. Besides technical information, these trainings teach internally displaced people about their citizen rights and duties, especially about women’s rights. “I know to where I have the right to act, and I know where the right of others begin,” she affirms. “The trainings have helped me in my personal life ". 

In her spare time she is devoted to her children, and she says that her mission in life is to help others in need, whom, like her, have also been affected by the conflict. Liliana is determined to share all the knowledge she has acquired from the trainings by serving as a peer support for recently arrived displaced people who came to this area to start a new life.

Leader and Spokesperson for Women

After several difficult years, today Liliana’s life has changed. She is proud of her achievements: her family owns the house they live in, her farm production has been increasing, her children are in school, and she has become a leader in her community. Liliana is now a spokesperson and advocate for the rights of women and of victims of violence.

"I have triumphed and I thank God that I can proudly say that I have done it. I had to go through very painful times and I would be lying if I said I did not doubt myself", says Liliana. "But I am here and I want to continue helping other women, so that they also become empowered with their rights."