By: Emir Ricaño
Last Tuesday, November 8, 2011, we went to a gathering at iLEAP to hear about Youth Empowerment. iLEAP is a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate and inspire a new generation of global citizens and also to collaborate with community leaders throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. So in this meeting, we met three different people who work in different areas and different countries. When we arrived, we were separated into different groups to listen to the leaders as they explained their projects.
The first leader that I listened to speak was Lucy Luna from El Salvador, she works for an organization called “ASAPROSAR”. This organization works with low-income families in El Salvador to improve life quality through healthcare, youth leadership training, environmental and nutritional education, micro-credit, and community development. ASAPROSAR focuses on providing services to children, youth, and women in rural and marginalized urban areas.
Then I heard about Genesis Group from Nicaragua, the person who spoke about the organization was Lidieth Alvarez, she works with local woman entrepreneurs, and she is also active in Youth Training Educational Development, which empowers youth and keeps the community clean and this group also is active in encouraging recycling and composting.
Finally I heard about Claudia Vanesa from Honduras, she works with the “GOJoven organization”. This organization gives support and empowerment to young leaders to act as catalysts for social change. These leaders aim to vastly improve and expand adolescent health choices, and programs, both on a community and regional level. They also work in different countries like: Belize, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
To conclude with the night, we came together one more time in the larger group, and different people talked about their views. I think it was an excellent night and we learned about different projects that are in Central American and how they support young people to create a better future in their countries.