Mexico City, November 8th, 2019 – The Vidanta Foundation—a non-profit organization that promotes the strengthening of democratic and humanitarian values, as well as the economic, social, and environmental development of Latin America—announced the five winners of the 2019 Vidanta Foundation Award for their contributions and efforts to reduce poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. The winners were selected by an award jury that included: Carmelo Angulo, Rolando Cordera, Guadalupe González, Nora Lusting, and Jose Luis Machinea. In order to choose the award winners, the jury took the following factors into account: innovation, measurable results and impact, ability to continue over time, ability to be replicated elsewhere, and environmental sustainability.
For this 10th edition of the Vidanta Foundation Awards, there has been an increase in the number of winning organizations, from the usual three winners to now five winners. A total of $285,000 USD was awarded as prize money.
In collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) and Secretaría General Iberoamericana (SEGIB, Ibero-American General Secretariat), the Vidanta Foundation considered more than 300 projects that ranged from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private assistance institutions, and other foundations, to Afro-descendant and indigenous groups, civil society associations, and non-profit organizations that work in Latin America or the Caribbean.
The first prize of $100,000 USD was awarded to Fundación Enlace Hispano Americano de la Salud (EHAS in Spanish, Hispanic American Health Foundation) for its dedication to prenatal care, motherhood, and healthy pregnancies. The organization has greatly contributed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates and has given access to quality health care for women living in rural areas in Guatemala. Since the project’s inception in 2002, it has helped over 19,000 women. The prize money will be used to extend their work to other cities in Guatemala and explore new ways of bringing these health care practices to other counties throughout the region that have similar health needs.
The president of the Vidanta Foundation, Dr. Roberto Russell, states that: “After 10 uninterrupted years, the Vidanta Foundation Award has positioned itself as the most important recognition in Latin America for many non-profit organizations that work, often silently and inadvertently, every day in our region with the aim of reducing poverty and inequality, or fighting against different forms of discrimination. For us, it is a great honor and pride to give the Vidanta Foundation Award in this special 10th edition to five organizations that, through laudable and pioneering work, contribute to the social and sustainable development of Latin America.”
A member of the award jury, Dr. Nora Lusting said: “I have been part of the jury for five years and I can attest to the quality and quantity of amazing diversity in the applications that we evaluated and selected in each edition. This makes our work arduous and rewarding at the same time. For this 10th anniversary, the Vidanta Foundation Award itself deserves special recognition for its conception, trajectory, magnitude, and scope. It is an initiative that will be very hard to match in Latin America.”
The second place prize, a donation of $75,000 USD, was awarded to Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración A.C. de México (Institute for Women in Migration of Mexico) for its project “International Protection for Migrant Women Victims of Gender Violence”. This helps women who have been displaced and it helps refugees get legal representation and psychological care. In addition, it seeks to make public policy recommendations and generate knowledge regarding the international protection needs of Central American women who have survived violence. The aspects considered and assessed by the award jury for this recognition were the following criteria: relevance of the subject and the need to generate effective interventions to prevent, detect, and respond to violence against migrating women, girls, and refugees.
The third place prize was a donation of $50,000 USD and was awarded to Fundación Cometas de Esperanza (Comets of Hope Foundation) of the Dominican Republic for its project “Diverse Boys and Girls at the Rafey Dumpster, Never More”. This initiative has made remarkable progress in the eradication of child labor, and the diseases associated with it, through education and environmental transformation. The prize money will contribute to the creation of an ecological park and the construction of an environmental school.
In honor of its 10th anniversary, the jury awarded two more projects. The first being “PLANMAR”, an environmental educational program developed in the Municipality of Mar Chiquita, whose objective is to promote a culture of sustainability through productive re-conversion, training, and mutual participation of the public and private sectors, presented by the Asociación Civil por la Responsabilidad Social, Amartya of Argentina (Civil Association for Social Responsibility). The second project was “Water Harvests for the Tarahumara Mountain Range”, developed by the Asociación Civil Mexicana Centro de Acopio en la Tarahumara (Mexican Civil Association of the Tarahumara Gathering Center) for bringing clean water to the indigenous communities in the mountain zone of the Chihuahua State. The two projects received a donation of $35,000 USD and $25,000 USD, respectively.
Created in 2009, the Vidanta Foundation Award has the principal aim of recognizing and supporting outstanding projects carried out in Latin America and in the Caribbean that work to reduce levels of poverty and inequality, as well as aiming to fight discrimination. The awards ensure that these projects can be supported, communicated, and shared in order to:
- Develop greater knowledge and skills in their respective fields
- Influence public policy decision making
- Raise awareness and mobilize public opinion regarding key issues related to poverty, inequality, and discrimination in the region
- Promote humanitarian values and solidarity amongst the population
- Promote philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
Since its inception, the Vidanta Foundation has received more than 4,000 presentations and around 2,500 consultations from almost every country in the region. By this 10th edition of the Vidanta Foundation Awards, it will have awarded a total of 34 prizes. The award ceremony took place in the Alfonso Reyes room at the Colegio de México.
For further information regarding the Vidanta Foundation please visit: www.FundacionVidanta.org