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You don´t have to be a superhero, or travel to the other side of the world to change things. Being a normal person is enough. You may like to write, play sports, play the piano or have fun with your friends. These are some of the hobbies of three young Venezuelans -between 22 and 23 years old-, who decided to get involved to improve their immediate reality. Despite being focused on their university studies, Fabiana Ordóñez, Albany Quiroga and Mónica Zambrano were able to see the needs of their community and come out of a serious problem: the malnutrition of the youngest children, a problem that currently affects 80% of Venezuela minors. They worked, specifically, in the community of El Calvario Alto, municipality of El Hatillo, Caracas.

Thanks to their initiative, up to 100 children between 1 and 12 years old can eat once a day. For twelve months, from Monday to Friday, they have given more than 22 thousand meals. The project, Nurturing the Future, is sustainable thanks to the help -both food and economic- from volunteers, friends, family and allies. Other students collaborate in the dining room and the mothers of the children are responsible for making the daily food, so they are directly involved.

“Since the beginning, we have tried to specify ways that help children to improve their real needs”, says Mónica. “And the first one was malnutrition. But we have also realized that we have to think of ways to improve their education. Therefore, for the new course, we want to find an effective way to help them in their studies. We are launching school support staffed by volunteers that serve to reinforce in them a greater enthusiasm and dedication to their education”. Encourage children to study habits, motivate in the community the spirit of improvement through educational days, and periodic evaluation of the results of these activities, are the new objectives for this course. There are twenty schools in this area. Only five of them are free. And these are responsible for providing training to 1,180 low-income children.

Thanks to Nurturing the Future, these three young people from Caracas have demonstrated that, with interest and effort, you can! Their project has managed to have an impact on the municipality and be sustainable over time. These reasons, and many more, have made it the winning project of the “Youth Women Social Prize 2019”, in Rome. With this award, International Youth Cooperation wants to recognize social entrepreneurship projects promoted by young students to improve their social environment.

For the jury of the award “Nurturing the Future reflects very well the ability of young people to contribute effectively to alleviate a serious problem in their social environment.” We wish them to achieve the objectives that they have proposed and, with the financial help, be able to take forward this great educational proposal. Congratulations!!

 

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