America Solidaria – Atlas Corps: An alliance that opens doors for social leaders on a global level

Estados Unidos
Can you imagine a program that allows young professionals in the social sector to put their professional skills and experience to work serving more than 46 million people who are now living in poverty in the United States? Can you also imagine US organizations that are focused on development issues? Thanks to a partnership with Emerging Global Leaders Initiative (EGLI)-Atlas Corps, this is now a reality. About 100 young adults around the world will be able to participate in the program for up to 18 months, allowing hundreds of individuals to become the agents of social change that this generation is in such great need of.

It was in September 2014 when President Obama launched this joint partnership with EGLI-Atlas Corps. This is the result of the Stand with Civil Society Agenda initiative, dedicated to taking a step forward in deepening US commitment to civil society. This new partnership between the State Department and Atlas Corps, which also benefits América Solidaria as a partner organization for Latin America and the Caribbean, will allow them to work together and take action to move forward and defend a civil society that is so often faced with restrictions, undervaluation, and a lack of support.

So, what exactly does this partnership mean for América Solidaria? In the words of Scott Beale, founder and CEO of Atlas Corps, because of this partnership “Atlas Corps has a unique alliance with embassies and consulates all over the world to help identify the best civil society leaders”. What this means for América Solidaria is a direct increase in prestige and interest from prospective leaders interested in becoming a part of América Solidaria in the United States.

The alliance between América Solidaria and Atlas Corps is an exciting opportunity which allows for a “combination of the strengths of both networks in order to identify key leaders of social change in Latin America, so that they may have the chance to come and serve in the United States,” says Beale, who also states that the association further allows those volunteers who join our institutions to benefit from the guidance and training provided by both América Solidaria and Atlas Corps. Likewise, this goes hand in hand with the challenges to be faced during the new year, such as “ensuring that both institutions are selecting excellent candidates, and making the best of the abilities, experiences, and expectations of candidates across Latin America,” adds Beale, highlighting the mutual trust that has been achieved so far, and stating that, as a result, all objectives could be met in the future.

As a result of this alliance, since September, 2014, the first volunteer professionals from América Solidaria-Atlas Corps have been working in the United States; Nicolás Torres from Chile, Ángela Betancur from Colombia, and Lucía Solorzano from Nicaragua. They are now in Washington, DC working with young Central American immigrants on projects involving professional integration, academic assistance, and art therapy for women and youths who have been the victims of violence.