Hello beautiful people!
Three years ago you helped the Fundación Nugesi 21 buy our building, which we have since renovated and made our home....thank you.
We are back with another fundraiser because something very exciting is happening in our neighbourhood. The Bogotá City Council is building a Cable Car as part of the Transmilenio public transport system that will soar up to neighbourhood of Paraíso, right next to where we are located in Bella Flor. This means that a lot of people, especially visitors to Colombia, will be coming up to visit our part of the world.
The first part of our project is that we want to positively react to this huge change by inviting people to come and visit our neighbourhood and learn about all of the good things that happen where we live, changing people's perceptions of what they view as a "slum" or "favela" so that they can see it as a "community" full of hope and possibility.
We are not calling this a tour, but instead a "Journey of Hope". Because our goal is to produce hope, for our own community and for the people who visit us. They won't be "tourists", but they will be our "visitors", because we are going to be inviting them in to our neighbourhood to help build hope together.
A big part of this hope is that we will be creating dignified employment for our young people as guides for the "Journey of Hope", so they can earn a fair wage in a skilled job, instead of having to work for below minimum wage ($10 - $15) in a dangerous or denigrating job that requires a commute of between 1 and 2 hours each way.
Another part of our initiative is that all profits from what the "visitors" pay to go on the Journey of Hope, after paying our guides and costs, will go towards a Community Peace Fund that will support initiatives in our community that help make peace real. Peace is a very difficult concept right now in Colombia, a peace deal was signed with the FARC guerrilla but 99% of the population hasn't seen any of that peace, and the country is more polarized than ever.
We want to put peace into practice by declaring our neighbourhood of Bella Flor a "Territory of Peace" and try to make peace a real thing in people's everyday lives. We don't know what a Territory of Peace actually looks like, it's under construction, but we are going to start by painting our neighbourhood, running workshops for fun stuff like hiphop and painting murals that also include discussions about what peace means, and working with our community to develop this idea of a Territory of Peace. We hope that the funds can go to cleaning up rubbish, fixing parks, holding events, supporting micro-businesses and other initiatives, because we know that one thing is certain: if peace is going to occur, then everyone has to see the benefits from the end of conflict. We want to make that happen through our Journey of Hope.
So there's the background of this project. Our Foundation has been working for more than 10 years in our neighbourhood and currently has about 100 members of the community involved in its activities. We support children, young people and their families with a range of activities so that they can play, learn and enjoy. Our goal is to help people to help themselves and form future leaders who can multiply what they learn at Nugesi 21 with other people and other communities.
We are asking for donations to fund a number of specific activities before the Cable Car opens in October, with the idea of starting our preparations now and working towards the opening of the Journey of Hope. These activities include:
- Painting murals, footpaths, lightpoles and other parts of our neighbourhood with colours and messages of hope and peace. If our neighbourhood is bright, colourful and alive, then this is an environment that is more conducive to building peace in our community.
- Holding rap and graffiti / mural workshops with professional educators to increase the number of young people who feel that they have a second home in our Foundation so that when it is time to train up our guides for the Journey of Hope, they will be ready, willing and excited!
- Getting our finances and administration in order thanks to our superstar Andrés the Accountant. In a country like Colombia, where paperwork, burearocracy and the tax system are ridiculous, complicated and painful, this is so so important for the future health and success of the Foundation. Not sexy, not exciting, but so so important.
- Paying for some glasses for our kids so they can see! Undiagnosed problems with eyesight is a real problem for our kids. Luckily, we have a great volunteer, Oscar the Optometrist, who is donating his time and energy to giving kids eye exams and is donating the frames to make the glasses for the kids who need them most. But we need to pay for the lenses! This is an extra item but an example of how our Foundation is flexible and tries to respond to needs and opportunities whenever and wherever they may occur.
And if anything is left over, we'll find a good use for it and let you know!
Over the course of the Fundraiser I'll be letting you know about all the different things we do at Nugesi 21 and why it's a cause worth supporting. Thank you in advance, we couldn't do this without the help of our donors from around the world and we love to spread our message of making change, bit by bit, so that others can be inspired and do great things in their own part of the world.
*Important: this wonderful website naturally takes a commission to facilitate our crowd-funding, as they should. We choose this method as it is easiest for everyone, offering payment by Credit Card and Paypal, and because most of our donors are from Australia. My donation (me, Sammy the organiser of this campaign) is to pay the bank fees and the commission to this website so that ALL OF YOUR DONATION goes directly to the Foundation and our work. We don't have wages to pay (we are all volunteers), we don't have administration fees, we don't catch planes or have fancy dinners, we just spend what you donate on what we need. I give you my word about the transparency and honesty of what we do, and if you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly answer them or provide any evidence of this that you need.
LET THE FUNDRAISER BEGIN!!!! CHECK BACK REGULARLY FOR UPDATES, VIDEOS AND TO SEE HOW WE ARE GOING! MUCHAS GRACIAS MI GENTE HERMOSA! (thank you very much my beautiful people!).