The current situation of an important part of black and mixed blood people in Cuba, precise the design and implementation of economic measures capable of empowering families as a way to satisfy their basic needs. Support for the creation of jobs could be an effective measure to stimulate these processes.
In the context of the consolidation of self-employment in Cuba, and given the recent approval of the new Foreign Investment Law, the creation of financing projects is a practical means of support to entrepreneurship.
Alberto N. Jones is a Cuban who has lived for many years in the United States, from where he has provided ongoing humanitarian aid for decades to his people, and is now trying to push the Ave Fenix project as part of the Caribbean-American Foundation for Children which he presides.
What is the purpose of this project?
We want to encourage entrepreneurship in the black and mixed blood people in Cuba to promote small business creation and implementation of self-employment within the existing legal framework in the country, taking into account the new Foreign Investment Law. We are trying to manage resources to motivate people and related entities interested in making low-interest loans to these economic activities and / or in the form of grants.
In Cuba, which organization could act as a counterpart to this project?
We are interested in the Cuban chapter of Regional Network of Afrodescendants in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARAC) is the counterpart in Cuba, because this organization brings together activists and intellectuals who are in the middle of the race issue. Also, within it are leaders of major community projects, which would allow us to leverage their experience and get to the base, to the ordinary people.
We sent this project to ARAAC and we are waiting for their assessment. However, we are open to other organizations or groups of persons of proven reputation which are similarly motivated, willing to work for the neighbor.
What are the specific functions of ARAAC or any other organization that wants to be part of the working team in Cuba?
The team on the island would handle the selection and propose activities that are of interest to society. That’s where the resources are managed outside the country will go to. The internal structure to be designed would be in charge of receiving, distributing, controlling, regulating and reporting publicly on the implementation of economic resources, results and other material resources received from the outside from perfectly recognized institutions which respect the rules and are not hostile to the country.
How are projects or people who will receive loans or grants selected?
All individuals are eligible for financial support for the achievement of theirproject or private business as long as they are carried by population groups of special interest such as women, blacks, youth, the elderly, single mothers and others without social protection.
Special attention will have those services that have problems or don’t exist in Cuba, turning them into jobs and family income, which includes active and retired professionals, to increase productivity, opportunities to highlight their intellectual contribution and improve their life.
All selected and approved projects should be developed within a framework of absolute respect for legality and anti-discriminatory principles, anti-militarism, racial and gender equity, and environmental protection.
What specific activities are of interest to Ave Fenix?
First are those activities related to safeguarding the values and traditions of Afro-Cuban population? Special interest will be in the educational field for the rescue of the academic level by reviewing and reinforcement of knowledge for access to pre-college or university.
We will prioritize activities that empower the disabled, elderly or those with decreased mobility, by providing personal care services, messaging etc..
On the other hand, we want to support agricultural projects of permaculture and urban agriculture, and others in the fields of construction, mini-industries, commerce and transport.
The aim is that these projects are ethical, sustainable, and values forming.