Focus on: Melania Sanhueza, Executive Director of Odyssey

March 1, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

"Our experience in Colunga has been excellent in every way"

On the transformative potential of children in their own learning process and the challenges of Odyssey we talked with Melania Sanhueza, Executive Director of the NGO focused on creating educational experiences. 

How did you get to civil society?

After finishing my Masters in Innovation and Design, together with alumni, we were invited to be part of the Center for Emerging Interfaces of the UAI, where we had to create a project in education. It was here that we applied and stayed in the program The S Factory of StartUp Chile with the idea of creating a kit of electronics so that all children could develop technological projects. In the middle of the tests, we realized that a kit of electronics was not enough to trigger the children protagonists of their own learning process.

It was when, after participating in the program "Somos Comprometidos", organized by Socialab, Unesco and Ashoka Argentina, we created ODYSSEY, a method that guides children through various stages of design thinking: From observing problems in their environment, to finally generating meaningful learning through ideation and solution, through prototypes that they themselves construct. With this methodology, we realized the transformative potential that all children have, and that is often restricted by the rules of a traditional classroom. So we decided to promote this project so that more children can have the same experience and empower themselves as agents of change. For this reason, we are the NGO that today is Odyssey.

What is the organization currently working on?

We are writing the Odyssey method in a digital document so that any educator can use our methodology and thus promote the learning of their students. At the same time, we are setting up different workshops to obtain financing and amplify our impact.

Photo: Odyssey intervention

What is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge now is to be sustainable. Find a financing strategy that allows us to continue operating and growing as an organization.

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

It has been excellent in every way, not only because of the space that is very comfortable and it is nice to come to work, but for the people, the environment and the same instances that are generated inside the HUB to meet other organizations . We can all collaborate and support each other from our experiences and areas of expertise. I find it incredible, especially coming from the larger organizations that can support and guide the little ones like us.

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