On Thursday, May 24, 2018, around 250 workers from coal mines in the municipalities of Sogamoso, Mongua, Tópaga and Gámeza received diplomas from certified courses of the National Learning Service (SENA). The event was held at the COMFABOY facilities in Sogamoso, with the presence of local authorities, SENA, Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), Pact and Fundación Mi Sangre.
Despite the fact that there is the best mining center of the country in the area, and certification is required by safety regulations, access to certified training by coal miners had been very limited. Logistical difficulties and lack of information were obstacles to this, and it was a great achievement for the small miners and miners of this region to overcome them.
In its work with the Boyacá mining organizations within the Somos Tesoro project, ARM identified the need for miners and miners in the area to develop their capacities in mining safety, first aid and administrative issues, in order to advance in formalization and improve the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. This is of special relevance, since Boyacá is currently one of the departments with the greatest mining accident rate in the country.
As the most important educational institution for training in technical and technological issues, ARM approached the SENA mining center with the aim of forming an alliance and ensuring that the certified courses of this entity reached the coal mining organizations participating in the Somos Tesoro project, thus achieving a higher qualification of the small mining sector. Thanks to this alliance, SENA sent teachers to carry out the certified courses in the mines themselves. ARM, for its part, took the offer of the SENA to the miners and mining companies, facilitating and coordinating all the logistics for the organization of groups of at least 25 miners, in times and spaces adapted to their schedules.
Receiving the certification proudly, the miners and miners demonstrated that the prejudices that exist about them are not true and that they want to do things well, formalize themselves and do their part to be trained. They dedicated all the time, effort, space and resources necessary to facilitate this activity.
This model of cooperation between local actors is an example for other mining areas of the country to facilitate access to education and training for the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, in order to improve working conditions, reduce accidents and support its transformation into a sector that positively promotes local development.