Green Start-ups – new perspectives for disadvantaged youth in Ecuador

DVV International initiates the project “Let’s Go! Strengthening the competencies of young people and indigenous communities in the northern Amazon area of Ecuador”.

DVV and FUNDER have been engaged in educational work with disadvantaged young people for many years. Here, young people from a joint project present their product ideas at a fair

DVV International has initiated the project “Let’s Go! Strengthening the competencies of young people and indigenous communities in the northern Amazon area of Ecuador” with support from the Carol Singers (Sternsinger) and in cooperation with its partner of many years, FUNDER.

The project is located in Sucumbíos, a remote province near the border with Columbia. The region is marked by an overwhelmingly insubstantial offer of services (education, health, justice), ever-increasing conflicts due to migration, as well as violence and criminality attributed to the drug trade. On top of that come environmental problems like the pollution of the Amazon, illegal mining and oil extraction. Especially among the indigenous community, there are a great number of young people who are not able to get an education nor find work, who live in precarious circumstances and have no access to learning possibilities. As a result of this there is a growing dormant problem: a populace which is inactive in the economy, running the risk of being marginalised and thus suffering from cultural discrimination.

In order to contribute to the battle against these problems, transformative educational offers in areas such as soft skills, personality development and occupational training for young people will be carried out within the framework of the project in the indigenous communities through educational outreach work. The young people will be encouraged to discover their own competencies, to build a sustainable life project for themselves, and promote the sustainable development of their communities by developing green and gender-sensitive business ideas and volunteer projects.

In a supporting capacity, instructors will be trained who will emphasise the life-changing transformative nature of education and undertake to achieve an integrated value-oriented learning atmosphere that is free from discrimination. In addition, meeting rooms will be established in the community where participants in the education programmes can discuss current challenges related to gender, discrimination, work, environmental protection, etc., and attempt to find solutions with members of their community.

The project is an important building block in the battle against poverty and is focussed on the needs of vulnerable target groups as well as the environment, and makes clear the potential that transformative education has for the development of individuals and communities.

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