Hi, I am Clarissa Rios Rojas and I come from Peru. Because I come from there I feel very connected and responsible with the social issues happening in the so called "Developing countries". The biggest challenge I overcome was to have few resources (money) for pursuing my studies and dreams of professional development. I come from a low-income family, so me and my parents made a lot of sacrifices so I could have a proper education. I worked hard at university so I could win a scholarship to go to Finland as an exchange student. Later, I decided I wanted to study in the prestigious university Karolinska Institute in Sweden. So in order to achieved my dream; I worked cleaning ships and houses, collecting glasses, teaching Spanish, and babysitting so I could pay for my living expenses while studying. I overcome my initial lack of opportunities by empowering myself through education and by working hard and being persistent on my goals. Resilience, good attitude and passion for the things I did helped me a lot on my journey.
Although I could defeat this problem, that is not the case for millions of girls and boys in Peru. Actually, the lack of resources (money) and opportunities for professional development is a big problem in the whole Latinamerica. So, in order to find a solution to this problem, last year I started a non-profit called Ekpapalek (www.ekpapalek.com). Our mission is to empower Latin students and promote the social and economic development of Latin American countries. Hence, Ekpapalek promotes opportunities of professional development for Latin Americans by offering three FREE programmes: the first program connects students with hosts that offer them free accommodation while they do an internship abroad. The second programme offers them online mentorship with a plethora of experienced professionals via Skype and the third programme aims to change the current women's role models.
The project is developing fast with the help of passionate volunteers and excellent human beings. However, I would like to expand the scope of action of Ekpapalek so I think I need more knowledge about crowfunding and social enterpreneurships. In that way, I can learn how to turn a non-profit into a more independent entity that can generate enough resources to help more latin students (e.g: supporting them with scholarships to do internships abroad, generating more materials for the workshops that we offer to little girls under the program for women, etc). I also believe that making partnerships with sister organizations is an efficient way to excel our work so I hope that together with World pulse we all can connect and exchange, recycle , fusion and create new projects and ideas to make a better world!
Just in case I have also attached an online Prezi presentation about my journey abroad! Please check it out here: goo.gl/qWR2tw