PRESS RELEASE: Tent Partnership for Refugees Strengthens Footprint in Colombia With New Country Director and Partnership with the Scalabrinian Missionaries
March 23, 2023 – The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of more than 300 companies committed to economically integrating refugees – is pleased to announce Sebastian Zapata as Tent’s new country director in Colombia, joining an expanded network of country directors across the Americas and Europe. He will lead dedicated efforts to ramp up Tent’s work in the region, including mobilizing and supporting a growing number of companies in Colombia committed to hiring, training, and mentoring refugees.
Zapata joins Tent from Elepha, a social enterprise he founded to empower women in rural Colombia with incremental income opportunities and economic independence through the direct sales and distribution of essential products in remote areas. For this work, he most recently was recognized with the 2023 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Colombia. Prior to Elepha, he served as General Manager at the Clinton Foundation of the Chakipi Colombia Enterprise in Colombia, a project aimed to reduce poverty at large scale, as well as in a variety of international leadership roles at major companies including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Essentia.
“Colombia has shown tremendous leadership in welcoming and including millions of Venezuelans, but we need to mobilize many more businesses to accelerate their economic integration,” said Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sebastian to the Tent family, as he will build upon our work to date in Colombia and support the growing number of businesses across the country committed to hiring refugees at scale.
As Tent’s new country director in Colombia, one of the first initiatives Zapata will drive is a new partnership between Tent and the Scalabrinian Missionaries of Colombia. The partnership will focus on encouraging the creation of local job opportunities and training programs for refugees and displaced migrants, in collaboration with local Catholic congregations and their private sector networks.
“Including refugees and displaced migrants in the job market is a very effective way to help them regain dignity and, at the same time, boosts the economies of the host communities and creates a more cohesive society,” said Father Florenzo Rigoni, Scalabrinian Missionaries of Colombia. “This is why we are so thrilled to partner with the Tent Partnership for Refugees in Colombia and work together to enhance local job creation for refugees and displaced migrants.”
– ENDS –
For media enquiries, please contact [email protected].
About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new communities. Tent was launched in 2016 by Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of Chobani – a multibillion dollar food company in the U.S. – to mobilize global businesses to fill this gap by helping connect refugees to work. Today, Tent is a network of over 300 major companies committed to hiring, training, and mentoring refugees. Find out more at www.tent.org.