Garabato artistic workshop

by El Desafio Foundation

In this update about the e-learning program I can’t tell you too many new things about the content of the program itself; it is going very well. Our professor Celina is getting help from a great volunteer named Claudia, who is helping a lot. 

As I mentioned in the last update, we rented a new space; a warehouse located between the two neighborhoods we are working with and we are turning it into 190sqm of happiness and social innovation. The computer room is almost finished and we got the final design plans for the rest of the place. I included some pictures.

We have been investing a lot in renewing our programs and communication over the last period. It cost a lot of our resources while we were growing rapidly which lead to a period of financial challenges. Your generous donations helped us a lot. Fortunately our investments are really paying off and we are getting more and more social investors in Argentina. Besides that, last week the US embassy let us know they will support our programs, which is amazing news. This month we are organizing our first big fundraising dinner in Rosario, and we expect 100 people to tell them about our activities, network and fund raise by auctioning art from great local artists. If you have other fundraising ideas, please let me know.

As I mentioned in my previous report, when visiting Argentina you are more than welcome to visit our programs and see with your own eyes what you are making possible. We are very grateful for your help.

For questions, remarks and ideas, please contact me on FacebookTwitter or via You can sign up for our renewed newsletter by clicking here. And of course ‘like’ El Desafío on Facebook. Thanks!


Our new place
Our new place

Last March we kicked off the activities in our new space. We rented a warehouse located between the two neighborhoods we are working with and turning it into 190sqm of happiness and social innovation. Currently we are renovating our place, so it’s still a bit empty, but the children are back and fill the space with laughter. They really love it and it already feels like a second home.

Besides our home, we have been renovating the programs. A key element for (social) innovation is to always be open to change and being critical to your own work is essential. Not that we made too many mistakes in the past; change is something natural, especially in the work we do. It all comes down to giving the community a bigger voice and more responsibility. It also means including committed volunteers in our programs to cut costs, be more effective, make connections between people from different backgrounds and generate a bigger social impact.

In the case of ‘Garabato’ this means that we have a new volunteer helping our professor Celina, and two of the older children are assisting her as well. Especially this last decision is working out very well, because the younger children really look up to the older ones, who in return learn more about taking responsibility in their lives and passing on their knowledge.

Thanks so much for your generous donations. As I mentioned in my previous report, when visiting Argentina you are more than welcome to visit our programs and see with your own eyes what you are making possible. You are really making the difference! 

For questions, remarks and ideas, please contact me please contact me on FacebookTwitter or via mail: And of course ‘like’ El Desafío on Facebook. Thanks!


The kids waiting for the end year show
The kids waiting for the end year show

It's summer in Argentina and in humid Rosario temperatures are reaching 38 degrees Celsius. Children are still in school holidays and there is not much activity in the city, everyone is having some relax time in the beach in Brazil or Argentina coast. But for us is completely different.

We've rented a new place of 190sqm in where we are gonna be able to receive 3 times more children and have much more programs for the community. We are working on the renovation of the place together with local architects, engineers, designers and experts that know how important it is to create the right environment to stimulate the kids. Renovations should start end of February and we should be ready by end April.

Our activities however have already started, and the children will come back to the program 1st of March. We are thrilled to know more children will join, it''s a nice mix of adrenaline and excitement.

Last year ended the best possible way. The children were able to show their work in our end year event in front of 400 people. This is a very special moment of the year for the kids and families, where they can show their work and achievements. It's also a good way of building bridges between the society in Argentina, bringing them all together and encouraging to connect in a new way. The public reacted very positive to the work done and we've gained support and donors.

2012 starts quite challenging and we are ready to go, and we would like to thank you for your support and ask you to please stay tuned. We can't succeed without your help!

Braiton during a recycling workshop
Braiton during a recycling workshop


Normally we end a project report with thanking you, but this time I would like to start with it: thank you so much for your support, you are truly making the difference! 

I co-founded El Desafío when I was 20 years old. As a Dutch person I was shocked by the poverty I came across when visiting Argentina, and felt it as my duty to do something about it. People told us to not even start, because it seemed impossible to even create the smallest change, but we kept on going and the results are proving we were right. Changing the world is not an easy job, and often you feel a bit alone, but more often you realize to be part of the 'army of the good'.

Last week Mario - the other co-founder - and I attented the Laureus Sport for Good Global Summit in London. Laureus is an organization supporting 'sport for good' projects all around the world, including our sports project. We met so many inspiring people doing great work in so many different countries, like Kenya, Ghana, US, South Africa and Argentina, and to know we belong to a group of changemakers is an honor and a great support. 

Most of you I never met, but I do feel we are all part of the same team too, kicking poverty's ass, and I'm sure we will win! So that's why I want to thank you, because you are not just giving, but you, me, the great guys of GlobalGiving, we are in this together. And your support is therefore not just a gift, it means the world to us.

And more importantly, it means the world to all the children attending our programs. The Garabato project you are supporting is running smoothly. Especially the younger group is doing very well. For the older group we are currently innovating and adapting the program in order to get even better results. As they grow, we are learning with them. All children are rehearsing for a show they will be giving during our annual event on December, 6th. Every year they give a show for 500/600 people as part of an event to communicate to the community what we have been working on throughout the year. You can imagine the kids' excitement! We already made a great video, I will show you on December, 6th too. For some behind the scenes pictures I invite you to visit our Facebook page.

Thanks again for your generous donations. When visiting Argentina you are more than welcome to visit our programs and see with your own eyes what you are making possible. 

I would like to ask you for ideas and input that might help us growing our foundation so we can help more children. Do you have fundraising ideas? Do you have a contact who could help us out? Would you to be interested in organizing an Argentine fundraising party (we can provide with the materials and some fun ideas)? Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter or via mail:

Thanks a lot again and I wish you -on behalf of the whole organisation- a great holiday season!

Jorn Wemmenhove


Our first trip to the mountains of Cordoba
Our first trip to the mountains of Cordoba

It's winter in Argentina. Normally this makes the attendance go down a bit, because rain and thunder storms turn some of the bad roads into pools of mud. But this year winter is not that bad and the children really enjoy the programs and make an extra effort to come.

As we mentioned in the previous report, new children joined us and so we split up the group in two (youngest to oldest children). We don't necessarily believe that splitting up by age gives the best results, it's a bit an old-fashioned view on education, but the new group dynamics do give different and interesting views on the kids' development. It's amazing to see how the children welcome new kids into the group and basically give them a crash course on the values we work with at El Desafío.

Last month we went on our first trip to the mountains in the province of Cordoba. In order to work for it together, we organized a lottery with the families to raise some money. After we successfully finished the lottery and counted the money, we found out we raised more money than the value of what we sold. Later we found out that one of the children told one of our staff members his grandma gave him 2 pesos because he did his best at school, and his father gave him 5 pesos as well, but he wanted to donate them to the foundation. He said the money had more value if we could all profit from it. Hearing this from an 8 year old living in very challenging circumstances is just filling your heart with joy.

So with 5 pesos, and a lot of love extra, we had a fantastic trip. None of the children had ever seen the mountains before and they could not believe their eyes. It's great to be able to have these experiences as a group and widen the horizon of kids who normally don't get out of their neighborhood. It gives them reasons to believe and dreams to work for.

Without your help and generous donations all this couldn't be possible, therefore we ask you to keep on supporting us by spreading the message or making your donation a monthly-recurring one. This way we will be able to plan better our resources trough the year and we can maximize the impact.

Thanks a lot again and all the best!


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Organization Information

El Desafio Foundation

Location: Papendrecht, Zuid Holland - Netherlands
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Mario Raimondi
Lelystad, Netherlands

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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