What we stand for
Millions of youths live in poor, urban areas in Latin America. Many of these youths are born with potential and filled with dreams.
Yet they lack the support and resources to achieve what they are capable of. Deprived of education, opportunities and a social support system, many resort to criminal activity and prostitution.
Caramundo’s experience is that, if only given the opportunity, many of these youths at risk will choose to develop into creative and productive members of their communities.
Caramundo is committed to providing these young people with this opportunity.
We support motivated youths (ages 12-30) in realizing their talents and acquiring the tools to attain economic self-sufficiency. By doing so, we enable them to achieve a better life for themselves and their communities.
Caramundo is a youth-driven, registered non-profit organization based in the Netherlands. Our organization is almost entirely run and operated by local young leaders in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and volunteers in the Netherlands.
We work for a Latin America in which:
- young people from poor urban areas are able to live dignified, fulfilling lives as equal members of society,
- poor urban areas are bustling areas of creativity and young entrepreneurship providing the economic means to support the lives of their people.
Our mission is to equip motivated, underprivileged youth in poor urban areas in Latin America with the skills needed to realize their talents and attain economic self-sufficiency.
In our countless conversations with underprivileged youths in Latin America, we heard, over and over again, that they would like nothing more than find a job and earn the means to support themselves and their families.
Often, these young people expressed distinct ideas about what they need in order to succeed. These needs have included educational programs, a soccer field, a financial injection in a local start-up design business, expertise about setting up a multi media library, advice on how to write a project proposal or where to find a networking contact that will enable them to record their own cd.
What sets Caramundo apart from other organizations is our belief that locals are best positioned to determine their own needs and strengths. Once we determine to support a project, young locals take an active and leading part in running it. We serve as facilitators.
Although we support a wide range of initiatives, all our programs contain one or more of the following key elements:
Educational programs in vocational, artistic and athletic skills:
We support out-of-school learning programs in arts (graffiti, graphic design, silk screen, audio/video editing/production), sports and basic practical skills, including computer skills and basic financial literacy. In addition, we provide young athletic talents with the opportunity to improve their performance, and with the opportunity to get noticed.
- we provide daily workshops in our facilities, and mentoring and coaching programs. Our programs are initiated and conducted by local community-leaders,
- we support the establishment and running of (competitive) sports facilities, where young talents receive training and practice,
- through exchange programs with young artists in the Netherlands, which have proven to be a great way to expand networking and career opportunities for local artists.
Educational programs in social skills, practical knowledge and confidence
In order to prepare for a working life, we teach basic social skills, such as presentation, communication, conflict resolution and personal hygiene. We provide information on reproductive health and other issues. Finally, we place great emphasis on improving youth’s self-confidence.
- through sports programs: working with community leaders, we drive initiatives that combine physical activities with social skills, leadership skills and building confidence. In addition, young people further develop their practical and social skills by being involved in/and responsible for the organization of, and fundraising for, sports events (computer, financial, and communication skills).
- our facilities and sports fields offer a safe place for interactive discussions on a wide variety of issues, ranging from reproductive health, to personal hygiene, to the challenges faced by youth growing up in poor urban areas.
- mentoring and coaching programs lead by peers from the community.
We encourage young adults to find employment and offer assistance with the start-up of micro and small enterprises. We also organize cultural activities both in the Netherlands and in Latin America, including a yearly film festival featuring Latin American productions, debates, concerts and exhibitions, to increase the visibility of Latin American artists and create career and networking opportunities.
- we only work with youths that are motivated to make a positive change to their lives.
- we engage high-potential young leaders that serve as role models in their communities. Enabling these influential young leaders to realize their talents and pursue personal success, will inspire other young people in their communities to do the same. These young leaders in turn commit to training others in their communities (peer-to-peer education).
- we work with grass-roots organizations and individuals based in local communities as they are best able to identify the local needs and to generate a greater impact than we ever could achieve alone.
- our programs focus on arts and sports. As a result, our programs are accessible to large groups of young people regardless of their social, educational and racial backgrounds.
- we provide a safe place. Positive gathering places and a trusting environment encourage young people to experiment with expressing thoughts that might otherwise remain hidden, realizing talents and taking chances and initiatives.