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Innovative approaches to community activism

Picture: Maria Cruz

At one of the training days in Potenciar Comunidades

Apart from my work at the NGO, I have time to freelance as a journalist from time to time. Last week I interviewed Silvio, the director of Los Grobo Foundation. We talked about the role of NGOs in society, the different actors in a community and how to present them to benefit social development. I thought it was worth sharing some of his ideas here!

I need to provide a bit of context. In Argentina, for the last 10 to 15 years, NGOs focusing on a variety of areas (housing, education, social inclusion of disabled people, environment, etc) have flourished. These organizations come about by way of different initiatives: by people in society or by a private company, for instance. In the first case, professionals with an entrepreneurial side take the lead. These NGOs dedicate a lot of efforts to fundraising and attracting donors. Most of these organizations manage to carry out all of their actions with very little money of their own. In the second case, the NGO is an example of Private Social Investment from a particular company. This is true of Los Grobo Foundation: Los Grobo Agropecuaria is a private company (one of the most successful in town), and its NGO has a percentage of the company’s income at their disposal.

Picture: Maria Cruz

Most programs point at developing skills that are core to local economies

One of the programs Los Grobo Foundation runs is called Potenciar Comunidades (“Empowering Communities”). I found it most delightful, and I thought it was worth sharing this initiative here because their work involves a very interesting viewpoint on social inclusion. They evaluate projects that come from different communities and seek out private companies that are willing to support these projects with money and also management know-how. Silvio told me how they generate a context where they bring together the different actors of society (everyday people, company employees, NGOs, and sometimes also government officials) and try to take the best from each sphere.

You can hear more about it in Silvio’s own words here:


June 16, 2012 | 10:00 am