Nonprofits are defined as groups that make a difference in a community for public benefit and, while there are countless nonprofits established across the world, there are certain countries, such as Mexico, that have massive charity gaps. According to the Mexican Center for Philanthropy, the percentage of the country’s gross domestic product dedicated to charity was 0.04%, nearly 40 times lower than the United States. Among the few nonprofits established in Latin America and the Caribbean is the Vidanta Foundation, which works to promote ideas and projects for the common good.
The Vidanta Foundation was founded in 2005 by Grupo Vidanta’s Founder, Daniel Chávez Morán, to promote the social sciences and democratic values of Latin America. The nonprofit supports projects and initiatives that help to improve the lives of people in Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization awards grants to individuals and nonprofits that champion a diverse variety of causes—from healthcare to education to equal rights—through various efforts and programs. Through their efforts, the foundation strives to strengthen democracy, foster economic development, encourage social responsibility, and reduce poverty and inequality. The foundation is financed in its entirety by Grupo Vidanta.
The Vidanta Foundation Award was created through a joint initiative of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and the Vidanta Foundation. The purpose of the award is to recognize and support outstanding, original projects carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality and combat discrimination. The awards are financed in their entirety by the Vidanta Foundation.
Another pressing challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean is that 30% of the youth has been affected by informal education and unemployment. According to the World Bank, college enrollment has improved from 29% in 2004 to 44% in 2014yet it remains crucial to have organizations that open the doors to the youth, by offering opportunities to help advance their career.
One effort on behalf of the Foundation is the Wilson Center-Vidanta Foundation Fellowship. Established in 2017, the fellowship is granted annually, with a new theme selected each year. Applications for the four- to six-month residential fellowship take place in Washington, D.C. and are open to all Latin American or Caribbean citizens residing in the area with eligible documentation. The first year’s focus was on innovation in Latin America and its potential impact. The theme for 2018 was“Fostering Sustainable Tourism Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The Foundation’s expansive reach continues to grow through various partnerships and collaborative efforts. The Vidanta Foundation has worked with leading organizations in Latin America, and around the world, on initiatives to encourage growth and public understanding of key issues in the region, including partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Latin American Council for International Relations, the Inter-American Dialogue, Colegio de México (COLMEX), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), and various others.
The charitable giving as a portion of GDP in Mexico has increased to 0.18 percent in 2009, however, it is still low for a country with the world’s 13th-largest economy. The Vidanta Foundation is not only demonstrating charitable efforts in Mexico but throughout all of Latin America and the Caribbean, which in turn is helping to bridge the charitable gap present, and also benefit the communities as a whole.