FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
A couple of months ago I was surprised after opening my Facebook account to find that Vicente-a student in La Poderosa--had been included in a photo album posted by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Culture. Vicente, who has participated in our audiovisual workshops since the summer of 2009, is sitting calmly alongside well-known representatives of cultural circles in Ecuador. What really caught my eye, though, was that he had worn his Poderosa t-shirt and that several other participants had all done the same, forming an easily identifiable section of the public at this event organized by the National Cinematography Administration. Though I was unaware of the theme of the conference, the students' presence was very encouraging. Three years after having begun the audiovisual workshops in their small community, La Poderosa was showing concrete results. I spoke with him that night and he told me that a group from La Poderosa had organized themselves to attend a film festival because three of their films had been selected to compete. He told me that he felt proud to represent La Poderosa, but that more than anything he was happy that his classmate Adriana had won third place in the contest.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
We have directly benefited more than 200 Latin American and American students. Indirectly, we have also benefited their families and their towns in the sense that we strive for the education of committed and informed citizens who will have a positive impact in their communities.
As of today, we have produced 14 short films and documentaries, many of which have been screened nationally and internationally. One of them, for instance, won third price in a regional film festival on 2010. Another student film was selected to participate at the Rio Film Festival, the largest audiovisual event in Latin America.
We expect to expand our program in 2012 and reach hundreds of families as we will develop a "Journalism" track in which our students will be trained as community news reporters. Apart from producing short films and documentaries, our students will be capable of producing an online weekly newscast in which they will present information relevant to their city.
We also plan to conduct a pilot project in a guaraní community in Paraguay. We have already started negotiations with Paraguayan NGOs and hope to start our Visual and Media Arts Program in Ciudad del Este on July 2012.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
Our community-based approach not only has resulted in a very successful model but has also proven to be replicable in communities where young people lack the tools to make their voices heard. Thus, we have been successful in implementing our pilots in both rural and urban communities where our students where of indigenous, mestizo or African descent.
In the next 1-5 years we plan to strengthen and improve our media and visual arts program in Bahía de Caráquez while starting new pilots in other provinces of Ecuador. Also, within the next year we will be working towards the establishment of a pilot in a rural population in Paraguay. We have already started negotiations with the local organizations that will be responsible for choosing both the participants and the workshop location.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
To have everything ready for our IV Production Workshop in Caráquez de Caráquez (Ecuador)
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
To establish a new pilot: The First Production Workshop in Ciudad del Este (Paraguay)