Comfenalco Antioquia: 65 years ensuring the well-being of its entire community

On a day like today, August 30, 1957, the Comfenalco Antioquia Compensation Fund was born with 185 companies and 1,000 associated workers, a story that began to be woven at the initiative of Antioquia merchants through the National Federation of Merchants (Fenalco Antioquia).

The family subsidy was originally intended to provide more opportunities for lower-income households. Year after year, the Fund understood the needs of its members and expanded its portfolio of subsidized services in the fields of health, credit, employment, housing, education, recreation, social tourism, culture and libraries.

On the 65th anniversary of Comfenalco Antioquia, its director Jorge Alejandro Gómez Bedoya highlights the social management it has achieved thanks to the trust of its affiliates, allies and collaborators to be part of this house and help transform lives and ensure prosperity of strengthening Antiochian families. “This birthday is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to innovate for the well-being and development of families, companies and communities”he adds.

Comfenalco Antioquia continues to be the Caja associated with the regions where it has been present for three decades. Today, its services reach 125 municipalities of the department, 19,777 employers and 428,710 related workers, who together with their families add up to 888,176 people.

There are more than 100 family support services in the nine regions, which include employment agencies; service centers, child care, experimental toy libraries, libraries and educational institutions; as well as hotels, clubs and parks for recreation and entertainment. In addition, considering access to art and culture, it has the Moravian Center for Cultural Development in agreement with the City Hall of Medellin and the Municipal Theater of Jardin, in alliance with the City Hall of Jardin.

Social Impact Figures

In this celebration, Comfenalco Antioquia reaffirms its superior ideal: to work for a social, sustainable and inclusive transformation in which well-being is a collective good that positively affects the lives of workers, their families and the community.

With this goal, well-being prevails, therefore Caja describes some of the important events that have marked its history with a commitment in the municipalities of Antioquia to strengthen social governance and inclusion.

To provide more opportunities, in 1967 it adopted the first educational plan, one of the leading processes that comes with intellectual well-being. Today it has a Technical Institute with offices in Medellín and Rionegro; as well as a school for adults and overgrown youth in the capital of Antioquia, which has benefited 5,353 high school students from 1998, when it was established, until June 2022.

Among the educational strategy are the School Kits, which have benefited 156,441 boys and girls from Antioquia, including the most remote areas, from 2015, when it was launched, to 2022. The fund has provided 52,998 educational scholarships between 2014 and so far this year. .

In 1978, the program for allocating housing for Antiochians began through the construction of a revolving fund. To contribute to the dream of the residents of Antioquia to have their own home, the Fund created the Social Housing Construction Fund in 1993 and from that year to July 2022, it has provided 22,393 subsidies to families in the department with resources that exceed 254.590 billion pesos pesos.

In 2002, he started implementing his own housing projects. Between this year and so far in 2022, it has completed 36 housing projects for more than 10,100 families in Antioquia.

In 1979 he founded his Héctor González Mejía Public Library on La Playa Avenue, known as the “Cathedral of Libraries in Medellin”, inspiring projects to promote reading in the country, and in 1988 he opened the Public Library of Castile in Medellin, which For more than three decades it has been a place for meetings, culture and learning. Today, the Caja has 12 libraries, including the Children’s Reading Room (Casa Barrientos).

In 1987, Comfenalco Antioquia began its social tourism strategy with recreational and accommodation opportunities for low-income families, so that every year it benefits more than 5,500 people with this program. Thanks to its good practices of responsible, supportive and accessible tourism, Caja is today a benchmark in the country and in the world, according to the Secretariat for the Americas of the International Organization for Social Tourism (ILOS).

From 1995 to date, the Compensation Fund has provided more than one billion, 431,700 million in quota money to low-income families in the Department, of which more than 74,000 million are in this 2022.

In 1997, it opened the doors of the first hotel: Hacienda Balandú, in the municipality of Jardin, one of the most beautiful cities in the country. La Caja today has four hotels and 10 clubs and parks with prices for each.

In 2013, the Comfenalco Employment and Placement Management Agency started hand in hand with the Ministry of Labour. In almost 10 years, about 153,4500 people have found decent work in the department along with more than 17,000 employers. Likewise, the Fund has provided 37,327 unemployment benefits, of which 20,800 were during the COVID-19 emergency that ended last June.

In 2022, the merger process between Comfenalco Antioquia and Comfamiliar Camacol began to strengthen the regional presence and promote the reduction of social inequality. The meeting of Comfamiliar Camacol approved the merger with the Fund on June 29 and this merger was approved by the Family Grants Administration on August 24. Caja can host 1,000 companies, 13,500 affiliated workers and 120 associates in this union.

La Caja will celebrate its anniversary on September 1 at the Metropolitan Theater of Medellín with artistic interventions from the regions, with the presentation of the Employment Agency Inclusion Awards, which will be five years old in 2022; as well as a lecture by Alejandra Borrero, director of the Casa E. Theater and Learning Center, on inclusion and the closing concert with Puerto Candelaria.

Comfenalco Antioquia reflects that its history has been enriched by coexistence in harmony with diversity, and hence the connection of the anniversary with the awards for inclusion and highlighting the recognition of those who transform the vision of the world by closing the gaps in labor.

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