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August 2014 Winner

Elastic Mind Project - Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia

Mike Butler
Fort Lauderdale · FL
Overview
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

We are moving to continue and expand the current set of programs which include English, art, cultural and science among others. To expand on these we would like to bring to bear a fitness program each week along with a summer swimming program at a local community pool, along with trips to local museums and universities. These additional programs are so important in these children's lives as it has been shown that a major difference in those who grow up in poverty and those whom don't, is a reduced size of the pre-frontal cortex and hippopotamus regions of the brain both used in memory and cognition, which is brought about at lest partially by a lack of stimulating experiences. By bringing these cultural programs even if that means only one class it opens up their vision on on the world just that much more.

How will you use the $10k?

Our current set of programs cost about $500 - $600 a month to run and we would like to expand the scope of that budget with these funds. We would for instance be able to provide each month an additional day of classes, set up as a field trip day to get the children out of the confines of the barrio and into science or art museums. We will also use the money to bring additional experiences to the barrio directly in the form of yoga, theater and swimming class once a month. The swimming class would require the purchase of swimsuits which would be made in Colombia (waiting for quotes to come back), as were the backpacks we provided during our backpack program. There is also the possibility that we can move the weekly programs out of the confines of the single room house so generously provided by the community to to a more stable dedicated room that will come available within the next few months.

What impact do you hope to make?

We are expecting that these pedagogic and cultural programs, will provide a door out of the cycle of generational poverty that lcoks these children in, allowing them extricate themselves from poverty and become healthy, smart and productive individuals in society. Further we hope by bridging the economic gap in Colombia, by the introduction of high school students whom currently administer the English classes each week, we will create lifelong empathy that reciprocates in positive changes far into the future.

Other Details
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia
Elastic Mind Project – Ending generational poverty in Bogota Colombia

The Elastic Mind Project is a 501(3) (c) non-profit organization, working to educate and empower the youth of Bogota’s oppressed barrios. Its mission is to enable and empower a select group of young children through the use of innovative educational programs that revolve around both real world skills and intuitive artistic endeavors. Our approach is to focus on English language skills along with supplemental programs that cultivate cultural perspective expansion. These together will create a seed that replicates through society generating a sense of belonging, transforming this entire community. It is our hope that one or more of these children attend a university bringing their life experiences and skills into a productive role in society. Regardless, it is our hope that with the skills and support the EMP provides, we will lift them from the circumstances they find themselves, thus allowing theses children to maximize the innate potential each one possesses.

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