Bound to Help Her Community: Maria on how Alumni Ventures Fund Strengthens Youth Advocacy in Peru

Since Maria José Lovatón participated as an MCW Global Mentee in 2018, MCW Global became an essential part of her life and a supporting system for her as a young activist.

Being involved with MCW Global grew her professionally and personally.

Today, she is manifesting all this growth and support by implementing her Youth for Public Management initiative, thanks to the $5,000-worth grant awarded by the Alumni Ventures Fund.

In this project, she is working towards promoting youth participation in her own country, Peru, a democratic country facing challenges with corruption in public services.

The project, which will engage 100 young people in the public sector, holds immense importance for improving the Peruvian public sector overall and strengthening young leaders’ role in the system.

Youth for Public Management is already creating a network of young people working in the public sector or interested in doing so through activities like workshops on active citizenship and innovative project design that address current national issues.

A Necessary Community Initiative for Peru

Initially, Maria gives more context to the importance of this initiative for her own community.

The presence of corruption is an obstacle to the full exercise of rights, especially by the Peruvians living in vulnerable situations, she says.

In these circumstances, believing that global citizens should promote the strengthening of public institutions, Maria is making her voice heard and is being part of the solution.

“Thanks to MCW Global, we will be able to organize activities in three regions. Until now, we have visited Arequipa, in the south of Peru.”

75 young people from the region benefited from this three-day forum.

She acknowledges that probably most young people in Peru perceive public administration as corrupt and bureaucratic.

Although the situation was not ideal, Maria tackled the issue and found the team and resources to rely on.

“Many other young people like me and other volunteers in the organization are committed to the public good and are interested in addressing public policy issues in their communities.”

She and her team believe in the importance of solid, transparent public institutions capable of responding efficiently to the needs of its citizens.

“Throughout the activities we organize in IMPACTA, a non-profit civil association, directed and formed by young people, we are looking for all those young Peruvians that are motivated to overcome challenges and innovate.”

Being supported by MCW Global made it possible for Maria to strengthen her voice in her community and extend her network.

“Peru is a multi-diverse country, and with the support of MCW Global, we will be able to reach young people in different regions.”

Here, Maria brings into the discussion a far-reaching aspect of this work.

“Through this project, we will understand their main concerns, identify possible solutions and create a network throughout the country,” she adds.

MCW Creating a Warm and Supporting Environment

She further highlights that for young leaders in her community it’s challenging to find organizations that support their work.

“So, MCW Global helped me improve my knowledge to become a better leader and a global citizen, as well as create a project that has a positive impact.”

Belonging to the MCW Global family makes Maria never feel alone.

“This organization has created a family in which we get to learn from and inspire one another. If I need a piece of advice, or I am struggling with some issue, I know there will be someone that might help me.”

Alumni Ventures Fund does not offer only financial support; it also offers direct mentorship from an expert in the field, which Maria values.

“The support of the mentor, Leonard Kitoka, has been crucial to thinking about options to make our project sustainable and to reach more allies.

Throughout the implementation phase, Leonard guides her to scale their project strategically from a resource mobilization perspective to a project management and team-building angle.

“Getting involved in unknown spaces (like the public sector in Peru) can be scary. Nevertheless, I have learned in the past years that sometimes we need to be brave enough and do what we think is right.”

“Do it with fear, but do it, anyway.”

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In addition to Maria, the Alumni Ventures Fund supported Ahmad Bakdad, Syria, and Ibrahim Kakinda, Uganda, whose stories we will publish soon!

Stay tuned for their inspiring stories by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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MCW Global’s mission is to address communities' needs by empowering current leaders and readying leaders of tomorrow.