Cuba is going through hard times – both economically and socially, not least because of the pandemic, and those who decide to stay are having to face many challenges.
How do you support those who, amidst uncertainty and despair and with thousands of citizens leaving the country, dream of realising life and work projects.
The Hub EoC in Cuba was formed precisely to accompany entrepreneurs with conceiving and realising their business ideas, according to the principles of the Economy of Communion and in the wake of the Economy of Francis.
The most recent visits made by the project’s coordinators to companies accompanied by the Hub and in collaboration with institutions such as InCubaEmpresas and the Community of Sant’Egidio, besides gratitude from the protagonists, sparked a desire to continue to walk together and share their progress and knowledge and gratitude.
Reciprocity that arises spontaneously from those who believe that in today’s Cuba one cannot sow or reap only for oneself.
“The working groups forming in Santiago de Cuba give us plenty of hope at this complicated moment that the country is going through. There are many who see leaving Cuba as their only way out. Yet, the entrepreneurs who are staying are risking their lives here and now. It is a great testimony.” Ernesto, one of the Hub’s coordinators who visited the Cuban businesses, tells us.
Starting with Mariela who has a textile workshop, the Hub supports her by buying raw materials at affordable prices and offering her more sustainable repayment methods. She is also accompanied with book-keeping and price-planning.
At Finca El Rodeo, we brought different types of vegetable seeds to grow, and a proposal for planting and harvesting for the whole year was formulated. Veranez, the entrepreneur who is running this small project, was a little anti-change and technology but with the right support he was gradually convinced to apply the advice he had received to improve production.
The “Caminitos de Ternura” nursery school, another lively reality, was set up to provide education services to pre-school children based on the “Art of Loving” methodology.
It is an Economy of Communion project, in alliance with the Focolare Movement and the Archbishopric of Santiago de Cuba, which, with the new Cuban regulations on private enterprise and cooperatives, is having to change its juridical and administrative form. The EoC is accompanying them on this path towards change.
In spite of new regulations for businesses and a very difficult economic situation in Cuba, the project of the EoC Hub hopes to support entrepreneurs on the island who want to start a business according to the Economy of Communion and the Economy of Francis’ principles of reciprocity and integral development.