With the support of OUT in Colombia, an award-winning LGBTQ+ and sustainable tourism company, we were thrilled to be able to offer our first round of grants in 2021 to support local charities that are having a true impact on their communities.
We look forward to having an even greater impact and expanding our reach moving forward.
Read more below about the projects we funded and the great work they are doing.
Mas Que Tres Letras
HIV/AIDS Support Group
Community Served: Medellín (Western Andean Mountains)
Area of Sustainability: Social Impact
Problem: People living with HIV/AIDS, particularly in Latin America, still lack access to medically-accurate information. They encounter a high level of stigma and are thus discouraged to seek information that could help them with their medical, social, and mental health needs. As a result, their quality-of-life suffers.
Proposed Solution: By offering in-person and virtual support groups, Mas Que Tres Letras offers a space for people living with HIV/AIDS to access medically-accurate information in a judgement-free, safe space.
Participants have access to special guests and experts in health, legal issues, mental health, and nutrition who provide valuable information that teaches them how to live a quality life as they manage the challenges of HIV/AIDS.
These support groups often serve as an entry point to access other services offered by Mas Que Tres Letras, including direct one-on-one support for people who are recently diagnosed or who need help navigating systems to access critical resources, educational workshops, medication exchange, and more.
Amigos del Mar
Olas Paz Recycling Program
Community Served: Tierra Bomba island near Cartagena de Indias (Caribbean Coast)
Areas of Sustainability: Economic Opportunity, Environmental Protection, & Social Impact
Problem: Due to extreme poverty, most children on the island (which does not have access to potable water) abandon school in order to find work to support their families, falling behind on their education and putting them at a disadvantage to obtain jobs that pay a livable wage, thus reinforcing the cycle of poverty. At the same time, plastics and trash from the tourist-filled beaches across the bay wash up on their shore, adding to the pollution around the community.
Proposed Solution: Through an innovative program called Olas Paz, the Amigos del Mar Foundation is offering the children on the island an opportunity to help earn basic needs through work that promotes sustainability by helping to keep the beaches and ocean clean. Being an island community, the residents depend on the ocean for things like transportation and employment as fishermen.
Through Olas Paz, the children who participate in beach cleanups will deliver plastics they find to a plastics bank, and for their labor they will receive products such as a domestic appliances, internet minutes to access virtual education, nautical sports classes, food and other goods, and potable water.
The plastic collected is turned into products like surf fins, a way of eliminating waste by turning waste into food for another product.