The “Armin’s Dream Scholarship” was created in 2013 after the passing of one of the founders of Voluntario Global with the goal to honor his life and his actions in an active and solidary way. Giving teenagers from the neighborhoods in Buenos Aires the opportunity to travel and get to know another world with the intention of experiencing community and society. The campaign of fundraising which funds these scholarships ended February 14, 2014 with a total of 8,672 $US. Gratitude to all people who donated: ex volunteers, friends and Argentinian organizations. This amount will allow between 3 to 5 applicants to receive a scholarship, depending on their travel and accommodation expenses. On Saturday, February 15 2014, we came together with social organizations as well as teenagers from the neighborhoods for a presentation of the different projects, a reflection and debate of which one should be supported. This allowed us to vote among the 10 young people who had submitted their plans for travel abroad and volunteer activities, exchange and training. THE ASSEMBLY The meeting took place for several hours in the form of an open assembly. The different organizations were presented through their delegates. After hearing about all the projects and the teenagers making the promise to return to the community they were able to use their vote about which project will receive a scholarship. As in every assembly, you could feel the seriousness and companionship between the applicants: each of them were able to share his or her view, thanks to the given frame of the assessment criteria that guided the debate. The same applied for the election afterwards. THE PROJECTS The teenagers proposed a wide variety of projects which will support their studies and also help their neighborhoods when they return. From working in an Indian school in Paraguay, helping with daily tasks in educational social organizations in Mexico or learning about energy sustainability and sustainable development in Colombia to exchanging and developing guidelines or supporting responsibility development of tourism in England. EVALUATION CRITERIA The impact on the local community, the correlation between the project and what the applicant could give back to the community and the accompanying organizations represented the key criteria that were evaluated before taking the vote.
THE RESULT 1st and 2nd place - CRISTIAN – COLUMBIA and IDALINA – PARAGUAY (tie) 3rd place – SAMANTHA – UNITED KINGDOM 4th place – XIMENA – UNITED KINGDOM 5th place – MABEL – MEXICO FINAL REFLECTION The VG team believes that the whole process of participation of young people and organizations has been the best way to remember our friend and help to continue his dream of equality, access to education for everyone and exchange as forms of peace and understanding between people. Personally, as the co-founder of Voluntario Global with Armin, I am convinced that his life has marked a path to continue to walk on. Valeria Gracia