San Rafael, Ovejas, Sucre — Colombia

Project of the Association of Agro-industrial Producers of San Rafael (APIAS)

Support to the cheese production of San Rafael, Ovejas, Sucre (Phase 2)

Beneficiaries — 64 families- 320 people

Initiated in 2021 with the support of Give a Hand among others, the APIAS project aims to strengthen the organization and establishment of a cooperative enterprise for the production of cheese, yogurt and other milk derivatives. This second phase allows for the acquisition of cooling equipment, sanitary certification of the facilities, and technical support and training for production and marketing. Emphasis is also placed on empowerment and leadership of women within the organization and in the community in general. This project is part of the Peace Accords and the socio-economic reintegration of ex Freedom fighters and people affected by years of conflict.  

Give a Hand and APIAS Partnership

 Give a Hand and APIAS have joined forces for a second year to give birth and allow the take-off of this social economy and cooperative enterprise which represents hope for rural populations of this region of Northern Colombia. Long left out, these people now have the opportunity to participate in a vast regional and national development movement based on social justice and peace. The challenge is great, especially in a context of pandemic, economic crisis and reconstruction of a society that has lived under the influence of violence and war. APIAS has the resources and the dynamism to make it happen.

APIAS was founded in 2018 in the wake of the signing of Peace Accords. It supports the socio-economic development of its members in terms of milk production, crafts and apiculture, and has the ambitious project of becoming a reference in the processing of milk into cheese and its marketing by creating local added value for producers in the region. Women constitute more than 50% of members of the Association and they participate actively in all instances and activities of the projects.

Supporting women entrepreneurs in our community is important for our development. Thanks to the support of Give a Hand, this project gives hope to all families. The APIAS team


As the legal representative of A.P.I.A.S, Oswaldo Martinez is a veteran of an organization that wants to transform his country into a more just and egalitarian society. In order to reintegrate into civilian life and contribute to the reconstruction of the social fabric that was destroyed during the years of conflict, he initiated with A.P.I.A.S this project in connection to with cattle breeding and dairy processing which greatly helps the women of the community.

All projects — A.P.I.A.S