MEXICO CITY, MEXICO. NOVEMBER 06, 2017 – The Vidanta Foundation, formed by Mr. Daniel Chávez Morán, Founder of Grupo Vidanta, as a non-profit institution dedicated to promoting the social sciences and democratic values in Latin America and the Caribbean, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Vidanta Foundation Awards.
First prize of $100,000 was awarded to Cinco Panes y Dos Peces, a Mexican organization seeking to reduce risk and vulnerability to possible disasters, or medical and humanitarian emergencies in highly isolated and marginalized mountain communities in five states. Since its founding in 1992, the project has improved community response, livelihood and activation capacities in 657 communities, benefiting over 320,000 people since 2001. The recipients will use award funds to replicate the program in ten new communities in Oaxaca.
Second prize of $75,000 was awarded to IDEAS Información y Diseños Educativos para Acciones Saludables - Ch’ieltik-Fortaleciendo Jóvenes/ Ch’ieltik- Strengthening the Youth Project. The NGO, established in Chiapas in 2009, contributes to the development and welfare of indigenous youth through educational, cultural and artistic workshops and has benefited over 1,200 indigenous teenagers. The prize will go toward expanding the organization’s work to a micro-region in the Sierra Fronteriza area.
Third prize of $50,000 was awarded to Dignidad y Justicia en el Camino - FM4 Paso Libre. FM4 Paso Libre is a non-profit organization formed by an interdisciplinary group of university student volunteers to respond to the reality of migration in transit. The organization serves migrants, both Mexican or foreign, in transit through Guadalajara as they flee from violence in the “Northern Triangle” of Central America. The organization provides humanitarian assistance as well as medical and legal assistance and to date have helped over 30,200 refugees. The award will be used to create a contingency fund for emergency use.
The Vidanta Foundation, led by current President Dr. Roberto Russell, hosted a ceremony on October 23, 2017 to honor this year’s winners. Marking the 8th edition of the Vidanta Foundation Award, the work of this year’s recipients revolved around the theme of "contributions to the reduction of poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
“The purpose of the Award is to recognize and support outstanding, original projects carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality and combat discrimination,” said Dr. Russell. “Our three winners this year have all worked tirelessly to develop greater knowledge and awareness in their respective fields, create positive impact on public policy decision-making, and promote action and positive change. The Vidanta Foundation is honored to recognize and support the pivotal work they do in the region.”
Eighty-nine candidates were evaluated for this year’s award, their work review by a panel of luminaries, activists, and leaders presided by former President of Uruguay, Julio María Sanguinetti. Candidates ranged from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), privately funded institutions and foundations, descendants and indigenous peoples associations, civil organizations and nonprofit organizations.
The Vidanta Foundation Award was created through a joint initiative of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and Vidanta Foundation. All awards are financed in their entirety by the Vidanta Foundation.