On December 4th & 5th, Justworld Ambassadors Morgan Dickerson, Lili Kaissar, Olivia Chowdry, Christopher Bancroft and Denise Fraile and JustWorld staff attended the inaugural Nexus Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) Forum. The objective of the forum was to unite young philanthropists, impact investors and social entrepreneurs, all sharing the common goal of making this world a better place.
Nexus, founded in 2011, is a global movement with thousands of members who are strategically connected to leverage resources and ideas for maximum impact of change. The focus is on social and environmental issues that do not only need funding, but solutions and strategy to break the on-going and often devastating cycles.
Read more about JustWorld Ambassador Denise Fraile’s life-changing experience at the NEXUS Conference:
“Hello. My name is Denise and my passion is breaking the cycle of child poverty.” Always wanting to make the world a better place, I was truly inspired by my visit to the JustWorld International partner project, Los Patojos, in Guatemala.
I attended the Nexus forum and was also honored to speak as one of the panelists. The focus of my topic was Los Patojos and how the project has successfully incorporated different arts and creativity, bringing significant change and breaking harmful cycles that have impacted the entire community. As anyone that has visited the project knows, once you walk through the doors of Los Patojos, it is hard to imagine a happier place on earth. Aside from Founder Juan Pablo’s contagious energy, the smiling children and tail-wagging dogs, the school becomes visually vibrant with colorful murals and every spectrum of the rainbow being represented. With the implementation of photography, dance, visual art and many self-expressive programs combined with more traditional academics, Los Patojos has had an impact not only on it’s students, but throughout the entire community. When you are contrasting a child’s outlook where the only prospect is a street life filled with gangs, drugs, fear and death, the opportunity of a safe place, with a sense of belonging and heard self-expression is unimaginable. Applying the arts, Los Patojos has not only given hundreds of children the opportunity to discover their own creative passion, but has provided a way of emotional healing, also giving the children of Los Patojos the opportunity at a life with a positive outlook.
Absolutely focusing on the word “philanthropy” and its Greek origin meaning “the love of humanity and the enhancing of what it means to be human” is what true change is all about. This is exemplified by Los Patojos and even more importantly, by all of the JustWorld programs and initiatives. Everyone has the ability to make a difference, but even greater impact is possible when we combine our efforts working together through the collaboration of ideas, resources and strategy. During the speakers’ round table discussions and networking opportunities during Nexus, we were able to share unique ideas and gain incredible insight, as well as meet several remarkable people all collaborating to create even greater change. I was expecting a fantastic experience, however I never expected that it would be life-changing.
In my opinion, the theory behind Nexus proves a significant and broad social concept. If we can make all desultory elements fade away, immersing closely in a group of perfect strangers, and leaving with a sincere connection simply because we share a common concept, then this brings together the greatest of inspirations.
Regardless of whether this was your first Nexus experience or if you were a returning member, I think that it is safe to say that you walk away a changed person. There is nothing more powerful than uniting people over a common and selfless interest. Nexus provides an environment where you are not identified by your family name, your net-worth or your social status, but rather by what your passion for change represents. Every introduction and conversation is started with, “My name is…what are you passionate about?” I can’t wait to continue the conversation of how we can all work together to make the world a better place.