Escudo de Colombia y texto de la Unidad para las Víctimas

“Yes, we can, and we can move forward”: Luz Amparo Marulanda

Thanks to the Unit for the Victims’ support, this victim of violence from Quindio was able to rise with her teenage son after suffering violence in Buenaventura.

Luz Amparo Marulanda comes from Pijao (Quindio), where she had a quiet childhood with her parents and siblings. She dreamed of being a nurse, but she married soon and moved to Buenaventura (Valle), where she worked hard with her husband in a store to flourish; however, the port’s violence hit her and left her alone with her son.

She had to go to Mistrato (Risaralda), and after seeking help from the Unit for the Victims, today she gives a message of optimism for all of those affected by the conflict in Colombia.

“This is a message for those to whom the world closes. With my heart I tell them that it can be done. I feel blessed, because thanks to the support I’ve had, I can feed my son, I can get an education, I can access many things; but this is because I didn’t stay there with a victim frame of mind,” says Amparo Marulanda.

“We have to be clear about those events being in our past, that we are fighters and entrepreneurs with dreams, that we can move forward. If we get help, fine, and if we don’t, using our own merit and the things our parents taught us, we can progress with our children, because they are the ones that drive us,” she says.

“I left to Mistrato, where I looked for the Unit for the Victims and they were very welcoming. They helped me with food and clothing for my son. I was attended by psychologists, because my son was six years old at that time and he was very affected, so the psychologist help was pretty useful”, she recalls.

Luz highlights that the Unit reached out to her, and sometime after interviewing her about her needs and interests, they green lighted a business bovine kit for her. “Thank God, I received three beautiful heifers in Mistrato. The Unit for the Victims was very clear about this project being aimed at improving our economy. Sometime later I sold one and bought two breeding sows, which then gave me five more breeding pigs, and my economy started to flow”.

“Then I started with the chicken shed, and today I have 100 chickens and 50 laying hens. I also have breeding sow production. My economy has grown a lot because I have been able to manage it, because I have been very thorough and because I’ve focused on what I want for my life,” she says.

With the profits, Luz began her nursing studies so, according to her, she can give her 14-year-old son a stable future. “I thank the Unit for the Victims for their support, for the aid. They have called me, they have trained me, I have gotten video calls, they have been paying attention to me and my projects, so I thank them a lot because I have the tools to bring a hot plate home; now I have a way to get my son forward, because I didn’t get stuck and I have overcome my fears,” she insists.

She also stresses that today she exports eggs and chickens, as well as having the opportunity to sell small pigs. “The Unit for the Victims has been a pillar for me, it has been my economy’s central axis for income, so I want to give a warm message to those of us who are victims: Move forward and let us make the most of the dreams and opportunities we get”.

(End/AMA/COG/RAM)

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