The Insider’s Diary: Module 4 – Social Initiatives Update

This edition of the Insider’s Diary blog entry will be slightly different than the others. Robert won’t be describing in depth the day-by-day activities of all six action-packed days that our Agents of Change spent in the Andes. Instead, here in Part 1 of the blog, he wanted specifically to provide a quick update on a few of the social initiatives at the core of our participants’ Academy experience. We believe it is very important for our global community to see and understand what projects our Agents in the Galapagos have been working on and where their interests as empowered youth lie.

Narrated by Robert Balfour – Program Coordinator, Academy of Agents of Change

Module 4: “Finding My Passion”

Dates: May 15-20, 2013

Location: Lake San Pablo, province of Imbabura, Ecuador

Our fourth module of the Academy – centered on the theme of “Finding My Passion” – went by so quickly that it seems that it never happened. But as I go through the photographs of the whole module, watching pictures of our Agents walking for the first time in the Ecuadorian Andes, setting up their tents around Outward Bound’s main camping area, or getting ready for their solos, a smile comes to my face and I realize that it most certainly did happen! It’s just that our 5 days in mainland Ecuador went by so quickly.

Our participants have been working extremely hard on getting their social initiatives ready to be put into action in our community. Part of the objective of our Academy is that after going through our modules of Outward Bound and Ashoka’s Youth Venture program, our participants have to develop their own social initiatives that have a positive impact in our community and that follow accordingly with their own passions and interests. For instance, Heidy has a natural ability for communication, hence her interest since the beginning of our Academy to create a radio program that can address various issues of importance for adolescents. Diana loves theater and acting and has become aware of the importance of educating her fellow classmates about sexuality and the negative consequences of unprotected sex. She has decided to create a theater play that can talk about these issues hoping that adolescents can learn about sexual education in a clear, direct and fun way. Each of our Agents has similar stories regarding their social initiatives, which is the reason why I thought it was important for our global community to read about what teenagers from Puerto Ayora, in the Island of Santa Cruz (Galapagos Archipelago), situated 960 kilometers away from South America are passionate about. These budding young leaders have very specific passions that connect to important issues within their community, issues that they want to bring awareness to, with the hope that this additional consideration, attention, and action will result in a better future for all.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of the Module 4 blog where we’ll be sharing exciting photos with you that include some background and brief descriptions of the activities that Robert and the Agents participated in!