[Note: This update was also sent to our newsletter recipients in JUNE]
What I love most about the Visionaria program model is when young people propose something totally unexpected to tackle a problem that they care about.
Earlier this year, students from one of the four teams who won our “Leader with a Vision” prize put their heads together about how to reinforce the message to their peers that alcohol consumption is both hazardous and costly.
Alexander, Jenner, Josias and Jafet proposed creating a radio spot, but then also asked their mentor if they might do something a little less expected: host a soccer tournament.
¡Campeonato relámpago de fútbol "Jóvenes Libres de Alcohol"!
While it’s too early to know whether or not their efforts will reduce alcohol consumption among young people – we can report that administrators and community members are happy with the increased visibility and messaging. A local radio station liked the radio spot so much that they granted free airtime for several months to run it. And their school is considering making the “anti-alcohol soccer tournament” an annual affair.
Ever since the first Visionaria leadership programs in Cusco in 2013, we have worked with young people to develop and improve initiatives in their communities. After brainstorming problems with young women, we introduce existing solutions and bring in local professionals to share their experience, before leaving it entirely up to the team of young leaders to decide what they think will work best.
In late 2016, we started to adapt this approach for the secondary public-school system, successfully creating and approving our curriculum with education authorities for the regular “Personal and Civic Development” course area.
This is not only a fantastic learning experience that prepares them for future work, but also improves community relations and moves the needle on tricky community challenges.
After all,persistent local problemsrequirenovel local solutions. At Visionaria, we’re making sure young people’s visions are part of the way forward.
In 2018, we created the “Leader with a Vision” prize. This is a small grant program available to students in public schools who have gone through the Visionaria course, taught by teachers trained and supported in the Visionaria for Schools program.
The prize allows secondary school students to propose a bigger project, participate in a 3-day leadership program to develop their plan further, and execute their plan with a mentor. They are naturally constrained by a small budget (~$300), a short timeline (~4 weeks), and the patience of their mentor – but after that, they are free to propose whatever activities they think will work best.
Thank you to all of our supporters and partners for their investments in education and youth-led sustainable development in Peru!
We are humbled and inspired by the potential for young people to get meaningfully involved in the sustainable development of their communities.
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