On October 15th, 2018, the Vidanta Foundation presented its ninth annual awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to reducing poverty and inequality in Latin American and the Caribbean. A rigorous pre-selection process of all the applications (89 in total) preceded the work of the Jury and their final decision was more difficult than usual this year. But now, the results are in and we’re incredibly excited to share this year’s winners and all they’ve done to encourage a greater awareness in their areas of expertise.
Third Prize: Tierra Grata, Colombia
The Tierra Grata Foundation was created in 2015 in Cartagena and since then, its members have dedicated themselves to finding environmentally friendly solutions for communities that lack access to basic services of electricity, water, and sanitation. Baño Grato, their ecological toilet, does not require water for operation and generates compost as a result. It consists of a sanitary unit that separates solid waste from liquids, in addition to having a space for a shower. This is a huge accomplishment and one that will help many third world countries with sanitation issues.
Second Prize: Wingu, Argentina
Wingu is a group based in Argentina and Mexico that seeks to strengthen the work of nonprofit organizations and projects in Latin America through the incorporation of innovative technology and methodologies. One such initiative, the Caminos de la Villa project, aims to visualize the state of the poor settlements of Buenos Aires in digital maps (more than 20), and integrate them into the official cartography of the city to develop a formalization plan for them. The platform allows for the channeling of community complaints to the respective authorities. The project uses technology to give citizens a tool for empowerment since the technological platform they present allows leaders and local organizations to influence public policy in a more effective way.
First Prize: Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir, Mexico
The Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir (ILSB) is a feminist organization founded in 2000 that contributes to social leadership and intercultural rights as a strategy to advance towards the equality of gender and social justice. The Institute’s vision is to be a benchmark at the national and regional levels in innovative research, training and advocacy to advance the equality and women’s rights.
To date, more than 10,000 people in Mexico and Latin America have been part of their training outreach and support processes. Currently the ILSB is part of the Civil Society Advisory Group of the UN Women Office in Mexico and the Civil Society Advisory Group of the Inter-American Development Bank (ConSoc-BID). More specifically, the project seeks to form a broad social alliance in favor of the rights of these domestic workers, articulating the domestic workers themselves, the employer sector, the media, companies, academia, governments, and civil society to make this collective visible, change of legislation in the Federal Labor Law and place this issue on the public agenda through mass communication campaigns. You can learn more about the amazing work their doing here.
We’re so proud of the winners and can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. For now, they’ve already made the world a better place just by putting their heart and soul into the work they do.
Visit GrupoVidanta.com for more information on these awards.