El Mercurio Report | More than forty organizations work together on the first platform for social projects

August 27, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

They are much more than neighbors in the same building. At the eaves of the Colunga Foundation, they share spaces, experiences and collaborate in the generation of new initiatives in which they can contribute from their knowledge. 

The summer of 2017 was especially busy at 26 General Bustamante Street. The building, belonging to the Colunga Foundation - which promotes social impact programs - became an operations center, where the efforts of those who wanted to help those affected by the forest fires converged.

"Onemi came, those who were working, Carabineros ... Because of course, where would they meet?", Recalls Esperanza Cueto, President of Colunga. The body, named "Movidos x Chile", brought together institutions and volunteers, with the aim of efficiently coordinating the assistance of civil society. After the emergency, the movement was consolidated as a program of the Community of Solidarity Organizations. "I think it will be independent very soon," Cueto anticipates.

A community

It's the kind of things that happen in ColungaHUB. The project, launched by the foundation in 2014, was born to support non-profit organizations working on innovative proposals.

A hub is not just a set of shared workspaces. It is also a community, with opportunities to generate bonds and collaborate.

More than 40 foundations are part of the network. The organizations postulate and if they are elected, they can opt for a subsidy to pay for their membership, which entitles them to work spaces and training ranging from issues such as transparency to financing.

The selected ones are chosen carefully, explains Cueto. It chooses those aligned with the axes defined by Colunga: childhood, overcoming poverty and inclusion, among others. "They have postulated fantastic organizations that are on environmental issues, but it is not our agenda," he specifies.

"Corfo told us that we are the first social hub in Latin America. I did not know, I was super happy. There are a lot of Hubs, but of this nature, we are unique, "he adds.

Collaboration

In the building of Bustamante 26 there are offices, meeting rooms, spaces for workshops, places to practice yoga and an art gallery. Even a Polaroid camera circulates to take photos spontaneously and paste them on a wall. Every detail is designed to stimulate creativity and interaction with others.

The results have already been seen. Larger organizations have collaborated with others that are consolidating, giving rise to new projects.

Víctor Gutiérrez, executive director of Fútbol Más -foundation aimed at empowering children and communities through games and sports-, recounts his experience: "With the Observatory of Play we presented a project together and thanks to that synergy, we were able to do a job in Haiti with around a thousand children in three schools, with the collaboration of the Chilean Agency for International Cooperation and Development. "

"It is a meeting space, innovation and collaborative work where voices are amplified to maximize the impact of our work and generate impact," says Magdalena Mongillo, social director of Infancia Primero, which has been part of the initiative since its inception.

Benito Baranda, executive president of America Solidaria, affirms that it is an example to replicate in all areas. "In the private sector there is a great need for this type of work, it has been understood as such and every day is more stimulated. The same within the State, where often between ministries and services there is low cooperation, directly affecting people, families and communities, "he says.

Membership

Being part of the community gives access to infrastructure but also to workshops and trainings.

Source: The Mercury

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