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A conversation with the First Lady of Colombia

Collaborative, Coordinated, and Supportive Work with Social Impact


July 22, 2020  | WEBINAR

12:00 pm EDT (11:00 am COT)


If you are interested in joining the Concordia Live Americas webinars, please contact americas@concordia.net


The great lesson of this initiative is that when we unite for a common purpose, we can create social impact.” – María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, First Lady, Republic of Colombia

In this discussion, moderated by Ignacio Gaitan, President of iNNpulsa Colombia, the First Lady of Colombia, María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, joined a Concordia Live alongside María Carolina Hoyos, President Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia and Luis Felipe Henao, Executive Leader of the Centro de Investigación y Tratamiento sobre Cáncer – CTIC, to discuss about ‘Ayudar Nos Hace Bien’, a campaign led by the First Lady that aims to deliver a million meal kits to the most vulnerable families in the country. Representatives from various sectors have joined this campaign to work together to meet the proposed goal.


  • During the pandemic, where saving and protecting the lives of Colombians is a priority, the First Lady assured that nutrition became an urgent focus so that there was no lack of food in Colombian homes.
  • The First Lady’s approach in trying to address this issue is that, although Colombia is facing a health problem, it cannot be allowed to add a hunger issue and malnutrition in human and social development.
  • Ignacio Gaitán highlights that to date, 882,000 meal kits have been donated and delivered in the Colombian territory. Also, more than 21,000 Colombians have been summoned to be part of this effort to help with donations through different platforms.
  • María Carolina Hoyos, President of Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia spoke about the foundation’s participation in ‘Ayudar Nos Hace Bien’, adding that among the challenges was resource management, and they tried to be as transparent as possible. For this, it was essential to integrate technology in this process to achieve being more transparent and efficient.
  • This is a successful job, a proof of solidarity and a proof that unity is strength.” – María Carolina Hoyos
  • Right now, there are only two municipalities left to receive meal kits in more than 1,100 municipalities in Colombia. It is expected that in two weeks, they will reach 100% of coverage in the territory.
  • To build a country and creste a more equitable world, we all have to contribute what we know how to do” – María Carolina Hoyos
  • Luis Felipe Henao, Executive Leader of the Centro de Investigación y Tratamiento sobre Cáncer – CTIC, stressed that everyone, as part of society, must have a responsible behavior. The current situation has to teach us that more than individualism, there is a superior organism called ‘society’. “If I take care of myself and I am responsible, I take care of others.” – Luis Felipe Henao
  • Companies are social tools that have to serve to improve the environment in which they develop.” – Luis Felipe Henao
  • Luis Felipe also explained that companies are not only committed to their shareholders and their balance sheets, but they have a much greater responsibility to the community where there must be an ethical dimension. Organizations must set environmental, social and good governance objectives, beyond their results.
  • What this experience taught me is the wonderful gear and the opportunity to see the commitment and natural motivation that we human beings, represented in all sectors (solidarity, public and private), have to do good.” – María Juliana Ruiz
  • The First Lady also highlighted the support of the Colombian Family Welfare Institute – ICBF, which was an ally to reach many children and their families with a message of protection, care and solidarity.
  • Luis Felipe stressed that companies in this new society must have clear metrics that measure their responsibility in different areas, and solidarity is necessary for a company to be successful.
  • The most pleasant thing is to have an effective participation so that in our country, in the light of the health crisis, we don’t add a hunger crisis. We have all have made it.” – María Juliana Ruiz
  • There are two main principles that will reign over us, which are that aiding does good and the other is to be good people, and these messages makes Colombia a country that has shown solidarity.” – Ignacio Gaitán