Basel, 6 October 2022 – Today, Fondation Botnar adds Latin American cities Manta and Barranquilla to the global OurCity initiative that leverages local strengths, community engagement and digital technologies to transform cities and ensure young people’s wellbeing.
After a rigorous selection process, Manta in Ecuador and Barranquilla in Colombia join OurCity, which supports cities in transforming them into youth-centred places by enabling young people to take part in city design and governance.
Working with local partners, the program will collaborate with youth, civil society, policymakers, the private sector, innovators, and other city champions to work towards more inclusive cities. During the programs, which will run for 10 years, stakeholders within Manta and Barranquilla will be engaged in a cross-sector collaboration process, designing activities to suit each city.
Manta and Barranquilla were selected after analysis found that both cities have young leadership that is open to collaboration, positive economic environments, and city governance that understands the value of cross-generational collaboration.
Mabe Larenas, youth ambassador from Manta who was part of the scoping process for the city selection in Ecuador, commented: “Manta is a vibrant city, with a strong and engaged youth population who want to be heard and be part of shaping our future city. To improve where we live, we need greater job opportunities and an improved education system, and we hope that the OurCity program will play an important role in implementing this much needed change.”
Daniel Uribe, Director Fundación Corona, the implementing partner in Barranquilla said: “Barranquilla is a city with the enabling factors, stakeholders and potential to develop youth system change. NuestraBarranquilla with OurCity’s initiative will help us to improve and enhance youth relational wellbeing”.
Fundación Corona and Diseño Público are our local partners for OurBarranquilla.
Susanna Hausmann, Chief Program Officer at Fondation Botnar, said: “Urbanisation is now around 80% in Latin American countries, which is more than in most other regions. Despite this, cities are not ready to support their populations. From education to healthcare, they are failing young people, damaging their wellbeing and leaving them at risk of being left behind. We need inclusive mechanisms in place, which is why we are delighted to expand OurCity to Latin America, and work with such engaged youth and city leadership.”
In Tanga, program highlights include the establishment of the first STEM park in East Africa, the development of a digital city observatory platform to improve the use of data in decision making processes, as well as improved learning environments conditions in schools and entrepreneurship and digital literacy training. All this was lead through a collaborative process with local youth, the Tanga City Council and other local stakeholders.
In Cluj-Napoca, the program has seen similar success through the development of projects related to nutrition and healthy lifestyle in schools, youth participation through arts and comics, the establishment of a local STEM training platform, as well as the development of school networks and a social innovation incubator for young people.
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About Fundación Corona
Fundación Corona is a private non-profit organization that supports and funds initiatives oriented towards strengthening the institutional capacity of Colombia in four strategic social sectors: education, health, entrepreneurial development and local and community development.
For more information, visit: https://www.fundacioncorona.org/