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EPM Foundation

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About us

We are a nonprofit social organization, that thanks to a team committed towards development, we carry out programs and projects in public spaces in the city of Medellin; based on science and technology, those programs make citizens aware about the importance of caring about utilities and preserving natural resources.

Since August 10, 2000, EPM Foundation is a link with community by means of which Empresas Publicas de Medellin (Medellin Utilities Company) fulfils its education commitment and promotes activities which make part of the social responsibility management of this enterprise group. It is worthy to outline that Empresas Publicas de Medellin provide services of power, water and telecommunications since 1955, and currently is a model company in Colombia and Latin America.

Mission

We are a private, nonprofit social Foundation, with suitable staff, committed towards developing programs and projects that promote education, culture of domiciliary utilities, whether complementary or related and the valuation of public spaces, that promote the development of activities for community participation, social research as well as technological and scientific investigation, improving quality of life and well being of communities where EPM has coverage.

Vision

For 2010 we aim at being a Leader Foundation in Colombia as well as in the  EPM Enterprise Group for which it will be duly  consolidated at all levels, to respond to the social programs required by the communities where the Enterprise Group exerts influence.

A trip though science and technology by means of our cultural spaces and education programs.

Our cultural spaces:

El Parque de los Deseos (Wishes’ Park). With a 12,000 square meters small square and 8 interactive activities. The park attracts thousands of people between tourists and local residents since 2004. It is an open-cast space, adapted and equipped so visitors may interact with astronomy related elements. In a ludicrous manner it is possible to understand how, over the time, water, power and primary communication systems have evolved to become the domiciliary utilities we currently know. Likewise, it has a varied cultural agenda and it also has a modern building made up by stores, restaurants, and a projection box and exhibition hall.

Museo Interactivo EPM (EPM Interactive Museum). Since 2000, EPM Interactive Museum is a place where science and technology are the stars. Here, visitors experience with the uses of water, power, gas and telecommunications; in addition, he/she may interact with processes involved in the rendering of the service and the right use of the utilities and environment. The Interactive Museum is also a sample of scientific and technological advance of the country, since each of the activities is the result of the research carried out by an interdisciplinary team that carried out the entire design and assembling, with 100% Colombian talent. On your tour, you will find names such as Puka Lupuna (Sun and Moon), Ikua (To know), Ikuaka (to think), and Kuarachi (red ceiba three). Do you think they are complex? Well, these words are common in the Kokama Language, the name of an indigenous tribe settled at the Amazonas basin. After visiting the Interactive Museum, for sure those names will be familiar to you because while touring it you will find out that some of the rooms bear these names.

Our educational programs:

Una Aventura por mi Ciudad y mi Región (An Adventure through my City and my Region). Since 2000, this adventure connects children and basic school teachers with the sense of the public issue, in ludicrous and pedagogic tours though the Metropolitan Area and Antioquia. In this adventure, boys and girls discover the huge cultural and environmental wealth we have; they learn to value it and they become multipliers of this new learning. In “An Adventure through my City and my Region”, the commitment for natural and cultural preservation is experienced with the appropriation and good handling of domiciliary utilities. More than 18,895 kids participated in this great program in 2008 and 31 municipalities of the state of Antioquia were visited. In 2009 three different Adventure experiences are being carried out, each one targets a specific public and has a special destination. They are: Una Aventura por mi Ciudad y mi Región Departamental (State Adventure):  in the adventure through my city and my state region strength is given to the sense of belonging for the region, the valuation of domiciliary utilities and environment; likewise, it propitiates the knowledge of some  referents and spaces of the municipality of Medellin. More than 8,000 boys and girls enjoy this state adventure.

It is expected that during 2009 this adventure reaches 27 municipalities of Antioquia where EPM has presence. Thanks to EPM Foundation, in the regions, 7,667 boys and girls aged 7– 2 will be benefited; they attend 3rd, 4th, and 5th   grades of the elementary school, most of them belong to rural areas, and they will be accompanied by 400 teachers of their Educational Institutions. Una Aventura por mi Ciudad y mi Región con EPM (Adventure with EPM):  This program is carried out in 26 municipalities where EPM has influence in power generation. Thus, we aim at promoting a greater citizen and municipal administration participation with EPM’s Environmental Policy and, consequently, generating a greater commitment of community regarding the conservation of natural resources used in power generation. This new adventure pretends reaching a broader public than the usual in the Foundation’s educational programs,  because not only kids of 3rd, 4th and 5th  grades of basic school will be taken into account, but also  municipal administrations and leaders of 7th, 8th and 9th  grades of the high school, most of the last ones belong to the Citizen Management Project carried out by  “Fundacion Smurfit Carton de Colombia” and “Escuela Galan” for Democracy Development, which has been led in the State by EPM’s Environmental Deputy Manager Office that seeks promoting in these students a knowledge dialogue, where diagnose and environmental proposals will emerge in order to be  directly applied in their municipalities as a contribution to their development. Una Aventura por el Parque Arví (Adventure through Arvi Park): An Adventure through Arvi Park is a program of EPM Foundation, jointly carried out with EPM, Arvi Park Corporation and Aburra Valley’s Metropolitan Area. The general objective of the Program seeks raising awareness in school children about the care of the environment through educational tours meant to recognize cultural and natural wealth of Arvi Park, as an adventure that allows more equitable and inclusive sustainable development processes, and that seeks to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Aburra Valley. This adventure allows kids of the municipalities of the Aburra Valley, districts 1, 2 and 3, with ages between 7 and 12, to enjoy a direct contact experience with nature, while they learn about the kindness and about the care of natural and cultural resources, thus becoming leaders who generate new behaviors in their families and surroundings.

Punto Común (Common Point). Internet Community Access Centers for urban and rural districts of Medellin. 11 Internet centers operate since 2005 in the poorest neighborhoods and in some rural districts of the city. The program has been identified as “Knowledge near your community”. Common Point allows citizens taking part in the economic and social growth of the city and having more democratic access to technology. Common Point is a space to create a knowledge culture. This program exists thanks to donations from Microsoft, la Mayor’s office of Medellin and its Bureaus of Education and Development, with the support of Empresas Publicas de Medellin, UNE-EPM Telecommunications and EPM Foundation.

Créditos Educativos Condonables (Condonable Educational Credits). Empresas Publicas de Medellin and EPM Foundation have created this program meant to support higher education of 250 young students of the 124 municipalities of Antioquia (except Medellin) who get the best scores of the ICFES tests and who belong to strata 1, 2 and 3. This program is an EPM’s social responsibility initiative which aims at educating professionals, integral persons who are responsible and committed towards the development of their regions, according with the mission and interest of the organization for education, science and technology, emphasizing on domiciliary utilities and telecommunications. The condonable credit is conferred for programs on   higher technical, technological and professional education provided by public and private education institutions, approved by the Ministry of National Education with premises in Medellin or in any sub-region, in areas related with EPM’s social object. 

Buscando la Navidad (Searching for Christmas). Medellin has achieved an international recognition because of the beauty of its Christmas illuminations, more than 15 million lights shine in the city. That’s why, for the sixth year in a row, the EPM Foundation is scheduled to carried out this metropolitan event by means of a tour though the Christmas illuminations that adorn the municipalities of the Aburra Valley and Medellin in December. Searching for Christmas is a program enjoyed by people of the 1 and 2 strata of the 10 municipalities of the Aburra Valley.  An urban town and a rural district are selected through parishes, community work boards and local administrative boards of each municipality or neighborhood. This year, EPM Foundation will benefit 12,000 people who will tour traditional places with the best illumination of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area.

Associated Programs:

Red de Bibliotecas Medellín Área Metropolitana (Medellin and the Metropolitan Area Network of Public Libraries) is a program designed with the objective of offering free access to knowledge fostering the empowerment and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the libraries. This program is managed by Fundación EPM. The Network offers free training on digital literacy, shares resources, integrates cultural agendas, collections and services of 34 libraries. All services and information are shared through Network´s website: www.reddebibliotecas.org.co.

Network´s Reach

The 34 libraries that are affiliated to the Network are:

  • The Pilot Public Library and its 6 branches
  • The 5 Library Parks
  • 8 Citizenship Culture Libraries in Medellin,
  • 12 libraries located in Medellín´s nine (9) nearby cities
  • The EPM Library
  • The Medellin’s Controller’s Office Library

The Network looks into connecting Medellín with other regions, countries and the rest of the world. The commitment of the current Mayorship is to build 5 new library parks benefiting around 1,000,000 inhabitants.

The Network in numbers:

  • Every year, more than 5,500,000 users visit the Libraries of the Network.
  • 1,480,000 visitors use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the Libraries.
  • The web site www.reddebibliotecas.org.co receives more than 1,300,000 visitors per year. 15,000 users are registered and are constantly informed of the Network’s news and activities.
  • The online catalogue offers access to 580.000 books.
  • The Network´s users lend about 945,000 books every year.
  • About 100,000 users are trained every year in the use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Puro Campo: “Puro Campo” is a corn cake (locally named “Arepas”)  manufacturing company,  is its made up by a pre-coop promoted and sponsored by EPM, Mayor’s office of Medellin, and EPM Foundation; it generates decent and permanent employment for 46 people, 29 affiliated and the rest are directly hired by the pre-coop; they all have social security. Most of the beneficiaries of this program live in Moravia, a neighborhood located in the northern part of the city, located between University of Antioquia, the Northern Terminal and surrounded by the Metro of Medellin. Since its beginnings the Moravia’s macro project allowed this neighborhood to take a giant leap towards legality, conforming an association where everybody contributes his/her effort and diligence, thus improving their quality of life, all of it thanks to the support provided by the municipality of Medellin and EPM. More than 1 million packages of corn cakes sold in 2008 shows us that in Puro Campo, the work carried out with social responsibility is able of getting started, going on, and progressing in the duty of enterprising in Medellin and, specially, everything shows again, that it is possible to create a self sustainable organization in the city, that works with the best raw materials and that trusts the people who work for it, thus becoming a successful enterprising example.

Medellín Digital (Digital Medellin): is a program ran by EPM Foundation, and led by the Mayor’s office of Medellin, with determined support from the Ministry of Communications and UNE-EPM Telecommunications. In Digital Medellin we promote and facilitate the good use of Information and Communication Technologies in the different neighborhoods, supporting our duty in four components: Connectivity, Appropriation, Contents and Public Communication. Efforts carried out by public sector, private enterprise and civil society get together here, ensuring sustainability and continuity, as well as heterogeneous looks enrich our approach, always aiming at reducing the digital gap and developing strategies for inclusion.www.medellindigital.gov.co