|by Heather Girling|
|Published on: Feb 1, 2008|
|Roberto Gonzalo’s first call to action was when he started to observed social problems within his surrounding environment and a low level of participation within the local communities in his area, with regards to both political and cultural development. There seemed to be a lack of social development and potential solutions to major issues that were impacting his community. In addition to these issues, there seemed to be a deprivation of vocational skills and knowledge which could be transmitted to the next generation. With these realizations, Roberto decided to follow his heart and natural path of social entrepreneurship, through the development of a multi-faceted organization called Kawak, Peru.
Kawak, Peru (Asociación juvenile Kawak) addresses youth identity issues and the relation of these factors to the economy, politics, culture, while incorporating and addressing potential morality and emotional issues affecting youth within Peru. Kawak’s approach is a unique one, by confronting youth problems from an individual’s perspective. This allows projects and their involved members to focus on individualism, developing programs according to the young person’s interest and/or ability. Most youth targeted social organizations address the issues, keeping the awareness and promotion of issues as their main objective; Kawak is different in the sense that they wish to develop projects which promote interest and engagement, keeping the young person’s personal development as the final objective of their social enterprise. Kawak chooses to approach social issues in this way in order to include many areas of interest and freedoms to choose according to the young person’s interest. Kawak also has the ability to be constantly progressive in its goals and objectives, constantly changing and renewing; while remaining uncommitted to any outside supporter or religious group.
Kawak is developed and managed exclusively by young people for young people. Bringing modern tools, knowledge and technology as main goals set forth by Roberto Gonzalo. Through fostering help and support volunteers, Roberto Gonzalo designed and developed the Kawak 7 stage development process as a component of personal growth for young member within his program.
Stage 1: Observation: To observe the organization
Stage 2: Knowledge: Know the Organization
Step 3: Integration: Commit to the Organization
Stage 4: Theoretical training projects and theme.
Stage 5: Technical: Training in practical projects and theme.
Step 6: Development: Implementation of a micro-pilot project.
Step 7: Atunruna: Project Development Staff.
This seven stage process was formulated to manage social projects for youth through demonstrating the benefits of involvement within their own lives, choices and communities. Through the creation of institutional offices, participating youth assemblies, virtual media creation and interaction, workshops of integral development, specialized studies within the ecotourism and cultural growth as it related to women; Kawak has been making grand advancements within its community. Through the development of partnerships with other large NGOs, Roberto is able to expand his strategy for youth interaction and involvement.
Roberto Gonzalo was recently awarded for his leadership skills as a Social Entrepreneur during the third Global Knowledge Conference last December 2007 in Malaysia. This recognition was given to outstanding individuals who developed their own company geared for social betterment while working within their local and global communities. We spoke with Roberto about some of the initial and ongoing challenges he has faced or faces while running his own social enterprise. Elements such as: technical and institutional difficulties in attracting funding, constraints in infrastructure or local activities and limitations of equipment and materials for proper activities, projects and programs. However some of these issues have been addressed and Kawak is growing as an expedient rate.
Roberto shared some thoughts for potential social entrepreneurs, “I believe that young people must learn to assume responsibility for their time and discover that the chances of development are here and now in myriad ways possible and are compatible with the welfare of others. We should to fight against indifference and assume the change! We must commit ourselves with our development, but without ever forgetting to help improve things and create a positive impact along the road to the extent of our ability!”
Roberto was able to discover the world of social engagement by being a member of the Scout Movement at the age of eight. Through this organization, Roberto was able to explore life, both introspectively and externally, through various group activities such as outdoor recreational activities geared towards understanding ecology. Many of these experiences, helped formulate his current enterprise for youth. Roberto has many future plans for Kawak. He hopes to amplify his work with youth through the building of new social development projects where knowledge can be shared, explored and tested. He also hopes to expand the geographical scope of the project in the near future.
[Visit Roberto's TIG Profile!]