It took months of preparation and an immense amount of work to successfully conduct the launch event. With the support of the Chilean Embassy in DC, and the participation of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza; Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdés; Chairman of América Solidaria US, Alex Foxley; CEO of América Solidaria International, Benito Baranda; Chairman of América Solidaria International, Rodrigo Jordán; Permanent Representative of Chile to the OAS, Juan Pablo Lira; and the Executive Director of América Solidaria US, Sebastián Villarreal; we had the opportunity to make our foundation go public. With a history spanning 12 years, the foundation has developed projects, promoted community integration, and empowered the people of our continent who suffer through poverty and exclusion on a daily basis.
Through the committed work of volunteer professionals, América Solidaria looks for ways to work towards reducing poverty and motivate the growth of solidarity across Latin America and the Caribbean. It is fundamentally important for us to strengthen and support all of those actions in which the communities themselves are the main forces behind building their own future. This was exactly what Alex Foxley, the Chairman of América Solidaria US, said. “We are committed to fighting against poverty, providing significant opportunities in areas such as health and economic development in America. We are an organization from the American continent that helps the Americas. We understand the needs that the Americas have because this has been our goal all along,” said the Chairman of the Board.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, was also in attendance and highlighted how important it was for América Solidaria to be in the United States. “In our society, one out of every four Latin Americans find themselves in adverse situations. This is an extremely important initiative as we welcome our first volunteers ever to enter América Solidaria’s US based programs. Seeing what things we can accomplish together, and how we can succeed in our efforts and spread them across the region is something to look forward to,” he eagerly stated. Afterwards, the Chilean Ambassador, Juan Gabriel Valdés, took the opportunity to emphasize the purpose of working together with the foundation in the United States. “This is a memorable and extraordinary event that we are celebrating today. We know that more than 200 million Americans live in poverty. Today on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we should remember to keep this mind not just for today, but for every day of the year. América Solidaria represents many of the values that we want for Chile and the rest of the continent,” he asserted.
We also had the opportunity to involve the founder and CEO of América Solidaria International, Benito Baranda, in starting this new stage. Benito took the chance to remind everyone about the past few years and the efforts that the foundation has made on global scale for the Millennium Development Goals. Thanks to the commitment and action taken by more than 460 volunteer professionals, our foundation has been able to help more than 33,000 people. He also emphatically stated that, “poverty is a violation of human dignity. We want more young adults involved in our organization because they will have to cross new frontiers and understand from experience that social justice comes from how we live our lives, and not just from what we say or what we hope will happen. These young people are learning in the field that solidarity and the search for justice requires hard work and sacrifices,” announced Baranda.
Rodrigo Jordán, Chairman of América Solidaria International, placed emphasis on all the volunteers who are working in the most remote corners of the continent, as well as the significance of the work that they carry out in those places. This marked the end of the start of what we hope will go on to have a long history in expanding throughout the rest of the Americas and the Caribbean. We would like to thank everyone who took part in this endeavor and we will continue creating new projects and cooperating with poverty stricken and marginalized communities. It is our job to help these people get the tools they need and continue our fight to eradicate poverty.
If you want to be a part of this, you too can join us and work as a volunteer in the office of América Solidaria US. This is your chance to commit yourself to those who are still living in poverty. Apply now!