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Friends for global change

Maria Rodriguez's picture

Aren’t you amazed at how many networking opportunities the Internet offers? Today I started to think about it when I received a Facebook invitation from a friend from Romania that I haven’t seen in over 6 years! How else would I have heard from him again if not through the Internet? This made me realize that nowadays people all around the world, and most of all young people, have very international networks of friends thanks to the Internet and to how easy it is now to communicate and travel. In my case, I know people in almost every continent! That’s crazy for an average youth… or at least it was crazy in the past, but now we’re just used to it.

Precisely thanks to the possibility of having such an international network of friends, almost two months ago I had the opportunity to organize a volunteering project in one of the Computer Centers my social initiative operates. It all happened thanks to my friend Kevin who I met in 2007 when he came to volunteer for the first time to Colombia. He’s from the United States and he is so motivated about what can be done here and the warmth with which Colombia has received him that he has convinced many people from the USA to come here and do the same. This year he hosted a volunteering trip for a group of twelve youth from Florida in which they visited Manuela Beltrán Computer Center. They all shared experiences and laughs with our students… having them here was simply awesome. Here’s a video in both English and Spanish that can give you an idea of that day.

It was also through friends that I got to participate in The Youth Factor and support COJDECA, through which we work for a better present and future in rural Guatemala and we are also a group of friends having fun.

I wonder… how often do we think about this? How many possibilities of joint work for global change are “hidden” in our international friendships? Are we really visualizing their whole potential? Let’s work together, there are many things that we can do. We have all the tools technology can give us.