Nestlé and UNESCO's Impulso Joven rewards innovative projects in Latin America

Nestlé and UNESCO's Impulso Joven rewards innovative projects in Latin America
Photo - Nestle

Twenty young people from 17 countries in Latin America came together in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to showcase their final projects aimed at creating positive social and environmental impact in their communities. Launched by Nestlé and UNESCO in October 2023, the 'Impulso Joven - Because Youth Matter' program provides young people with the necessary resources and skills to develop and implement their novel solutions. This event marked the completion of the pilot in Latin America.

The changemakers, aged 18 to 30, were selected from a pool of over 900 applicants and received training, workshops, and mentoring from Nestlé and UNESCO's experts to develop, implement, and expand their innovative projects. The program focused on three main themes: fostering climate action and sustainability (8 projects), reducing inequalities and promoting social inclusion and diversity (7 projects), and addressing mental health and wellbeing (5 projects).

Each grantee has been awarded USD 10 000 to initiate and advance their project, with the aim of generating tangible social and environmental impact.

"Partnering with UNESCO's Social and Human Sciences Sector has been an important step in Nestlé's commitment to youth," said Laurent Freixe, CEO Nestlé Latin America. "Youth employability is a pressing economic and social issue, one of the greatest global challenges we face. For the past decade, we have maintained a continuous commitment to improving youth employability in Latin America and have made a positive impact on the lives of nearly three million young people. Congratulations to the young entrepreneurs. We will continue working together to promote entrepreneurship and build a sustainable future for all."

The partnership builds on 11 years of the Nestlé needs YOUth initiative. With the goal of providing 10 million young people around the world access to economic opportunities by 2030, the initiative helps youth find apprenticeships, traineeships and jobs. It focuses on three pillars: employment & employability, agripreneurship and entrepreneurship. Globally, more than 5 million young people have benefited.

Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, commented: "The importance of our collective efforts through this partnership cannot be overstated. As representatives of UNESCO and Nestlé, we are united by a shared commitment to harnessing the potential of young minds to drive positive change in our communities and beyond."

'Impulso Joven - Because Youth Matter' is part of UNESCO's Global Youth Grant Scheme, which aims to mobilize financial and in-kind support for young people around the world. It stems from the organization's 20 years of experience in establishing and supporting youth-led initiatives and networks, strengthening the capabilities of young people, enhancing their knowledge and creating spaces for dialog between young people, policy makers and other partners.

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