"Hoy por Ellos" – Venezuela

Upon returning home after her UGRAD program, Andrea Susibeth Mendez Colmenares (2013-2014 Venezuela) began brainstorming ways to help the children in her community. “Hoy por Ellos” is the fruit of her hard work, an initiative that won grant funding through the 2014 Alumni Engagement Initiative supported by World Learning and Newman’s Own Foundation. Her project is now listed on UNICEF’s “Innovation Map” regarding “The State of the World’s Children 2015: Reimagine the Future.”

hoyporellos“Hoy por Ellos” (Today for them) is an organization that promotes healthy lifestyles in communities through an innovative, dynamic, participatory and proactive educational methodology directed mainly at children, making them the protagonists of their teaching-learning process. Through various activities, they seek to discover and develop talents for the purpose of raising self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities, thus increasing their quality of life.

How did this project come about?

There is a need for unconventional approaches to education in developing countries. In Venezuela, we need to impact future generations by trying new ways of teaching about health and social values. Moreover, we live in a society with a need of consciousness, so we developed this project to impart knowledge and skills while giving children opportunities – opportunities that they have never seen, and experiences that can change their lives.

musiclessonHow does the project work?

Children from Hoy por Ellos meet every Saturday in the community to learn new different things. The project has a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles. So children learn about healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health with a fun and dynamic point of view. They build confidence as thinkers, makers and problem solvers.

Hoy Por Ellos is a volunteer-based organization that joins many young minds to help and grow with these children. Its target population is a small, under-served community from Maracaibo, Venezuela, where children do not have spaces for recreation or play.

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