Educating Young Leaders to Save the Planet

Donor: GE Foundation
Local Allies: Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá
Beneficiaries: 1,654 students (direct beneficiaries)
Location: Bogotá & Madrid, Colombia

Give To Colombia partnered together with Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá to empower young students from vulnerable schools to improve their local environment conditions and create healthy communities. The project was carried out in two neighborhoods in Bogotá and one neighborhood in Madrid, and consisted of two components. In the first, each of the participating schools implemented the "Educational Program in Social & Environmental Health" so as to identify environmental health needs in the community and their effects in the population. Later upon recognizing the issues, students would engage in the second component where youth leaders developed an action plan, execute accordingly and even evaluated their social and environmental initiatives.

Among the initiatives proposed were the creation of an alternative water supply through a rainwater capture system that will help water the school garden, and the implementation of Information, Education & Communication (IEC) Strategies for Health & Environmental Care on the topics of waste management and hand washing where informational material was created by students and shared at the Environmental Fair & Forum, as well as the Science & Entrepreneurship Fair organizaed by the municipal administration.

Throught these initiatives, the students have become promoters of social development in their communities and have become aware of their abilities not only to act upon the issues they face but also to inspire others to do so.