Commit $1million to strengthen programs that serve children and youth under 18
San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 8, 2020 | Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico announced the first donation of the Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund established in 2019 by Comic Relief US. The Comic Relief US commitment is $ 1 million, of which $ 450,000 was awarded in this first round to five organizations in Puerto Rico that have a commitment to poverty reduction in Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez, Culebra, Las Marías, Vieques and San Juan.
“We are very excited to have the local collaboration of the Community Foundation of Puerto Rico, as we have done in other jurisdictions. The decision was very difficult, as there are so many organizations doing so much for our children and young people; to all our respect and admiration. Each of the approved proposals demonstrate a commitment to impact poverty reduction by developing skills in youth, strengthening mental health and developing resilience, and promoting food sovereignty, among other areas of interest to Comic Relief US”, said Lorelei Williams, senior vice president of the Donation Program at Comic Relief US.
The $ 1million commitment will be made in two installments, of which the first, after receiving the advice of donors, has focused on five non-profit organizations that have innovative projects that are committed to influencing the reduction of child poverty , girls and young people from communities in Cabo Rojo, Culebra, Mayagüez, Las Marías, Vieques and San Juan.
The news has fallen as a balm of hope for organizations, many of which have had to manage to continue offering virtual services and others have fully immersed themselves in supporting their communities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are: Aspira Inc de Puerto Rico, Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, Fundación Cortés Inc., Mujeres de Islas, Inc., and Plenitud Eco-Educational Initiatives, Inc.
“This news offers us a balm of hope. It is looking at possibilities and opportunities for our youth and the Culebra community, especially in these times of so much uncertainty, ”shared Dulce del Río Pineda, organizational coordinator of Mujeres de Islas, Inc.
“They don’t know how much this opportunity means to us, especially now; is to receive inspiration and collaboration to continue carrying out our mission”, said Paula Paoli Garrido, Communications Coordinator and co-founder of Plenitud Initiatives Eco-Educativas, Inc.
Similarly, Adelisa González, executive director of Fundación Casa Cortés Inc., highlighted that the donation has “raised our level of enthusiasm and hope to continue with the well-being of our children and youth in Puerto Rico. There is a lot to do and we are ready and committed to do it”.
The subsidized programs within these organizations focus on: providing agricultural experiences and agricultural work, and contributing to food security (ASPIRA); offer training to work in the tourism industry (Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust); provide psychosocial support, using the arts, to students affected by serious or chronic stress so that they feel more confident and connected to their peers (Fundación Cortés); prevent risky behaviors by building wooden houses that will serve as laboratories for children to experience planting, water collection, and the irrigation and renewable energy system (Mujeres de Isla); and promoting multi-component organic farming education, with a focus on encouraging young people to formalize as organic farmers (Fullness).
“Fundación Comunitaria is grateful for the trust that Comic Relief US placed in us for its poverty reduction strategy. The Red Nose Day for Puerto Rico Fund gave us the opportunity to strengthen the financial and human capital of these organizations by offering them a new opportunity to broaden their extraordinary work of transformation in the lives of children and youth in poverty, which it is aligned with the FCPR’s commitment to promoting social justice and equity in access to community resources”, said FCPR President Dr. Nelson I. Colón Tarrats.
Comic Relif US launched its fundraising campaign for the eradication of poverty in the United States in 2015. The campaign benefits the 50 states of the United States, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico. It is from the hurricanes that they decide to make a greater commitment to the communities of our island, supporting organizations that seek to reduce poverty in children and young people.
As they have already done in other jurisdictions in which they have sought the collaboration of community foundations such as the Chicago Community Trust and the Houston Foundation, they did the same in Puerto Rico by establishing a recommended fund in the Puerto Rico Community Foundation.