It has become what feels like an all too common occurrence: another day, another headline concerning a scandal, a shooting, an innocent victim. With the stream of negative news that continues to flood our feeds, it isn’t surprising that politics has been granted a ‘taboo’ topic at dinner parties, and that what used to be a friendly conversation about race or religion, is now avoided so as not to offend your host, or any of the guests. Of course, all of these topics need their airtime, but it is very easy to switch on the news in the morning and have it warp your day with pessimism.
Fortunately, good news in Buenos Aires is not in short supply, with an abundance of incredible charities, organizations and individuals achieving admirable things. So why not cast our eyes to The Bubble’s top 5 list of social initiatives in the country, and get rid of the stigma that ‘no news is good news’.
Pequeños Grandes Mundos
Since March 2017, Pequeños Grandes Mundos has been working to provide free art workshops to girls and boys in poverty-stricken areas in rural Argentina, connecting children from different regions and cultures, expanding on their sense of self and their understanding of the world in which they live.
During the last 3 years, this global initiative has travelled to over 30 countries in the world, offering artistic workshops to some of the world’s most vulnerable, situated in orphanages, hospitals, schools and refugee centers. Led by founder Ivanke Kerner and illustrator and teacher Mey Clerici, Pequeños Grandes Mundos puts art at the front of personal expression, transforming realities, discovering interests and preoccupations, establishing dreams, and above all, communicating with others.
As their Facebook page reads: “We should all take the moment to draw, either just once, or constantly throughout our lives. We should recognize ourselves in every line, and in this, be able to recognize others. Whenever we see children draw self-portraits, we imagine how they are going to grow into them’.
Their next workshop will be held in Buenos Aires on the 17th of November from 10-12.30 at OiHoy Casa Abierta, but this time it is directed at adults, inviting you to reconnect with your artistic side and get creative.
Atomic Lab with Gino Tubaro
Gino Tubaro, the 24-year-old inventor that has changed the lives of over 1000 children around the world, is leading the production of 3D printed prosthetic limbs in Argentina. Having built his first 3D printer when he was just 16, Tubaro has now received over 5,500 requests for his help around the world, and is currently travelling through Argentina to establish organizations that 3D print in rural areas so that families, no matter how remote they live, will always be able to access the help that they need.
In Tubaro’s own words: ‘It doesn’t just let you hold things, it lets you do many activities, so it’s not just a physical change but it’s a social, mental, and complete transformation. The kids that were getting bullied because they didn’t have a hand, aren’t getting bullied anymore’. What usually costs between US $5,000-100,000 and takes months to make, takes Tubaro just 15-24 hours and costs solely US $17-25. Therefore a previously impossible dream has been made possible for so many thanks to Tubaro and his work.
Tubaro regularly organizes a Manotón, which is an event in which he gives prosthetic 3D hands and arms to children that need them, for free. “The children, their families and the volunteers meet to assemble the hand or arm, which is soon to change their lives. Dozens of children will sleep that night, feeling like superheroes”.
Club de Reparadores
Founded in Buenos Aires in November 2015, The Club de Reparadores is a movement which actively fights for and encourages responsible consumerism, hosting free collective fixer workshops to try and mend objects before they are thrown away. Organized in the regions of Buenos Aires, Río Negro and Córdoba in Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay, their ethos is grounded on the principle of sustainability, arguing that as a culture we are wasteful. At the same time, the Club establishes traditional values of longevity and personal responsibility, and incorporates them with modern methods of reparation.
“To repair is an act against programmed obsolescence”. Club de Reparadores
As levels of consumerism continue to rise, it seems as though the products that we buy decrease in endurance year after year, and become harder to repair. The poor designs make it impossible to fix them and it becomes increasingly tempting to re-buy the item time and time over, which is often the cheaper option. This is exactly what Club de Reparadores aims to stop. Collaborating with professional repairers and volunteers of all ages, together they share their knowledge and skills to bring life back to the broken items, saving between 50 to 80 garments and objects in every workshop.
As their website reads: ‘We look to generate a triple impact: environmental, to lengthen the life of objects to reduce the waste we generate; economic, to promote the work of local repairers, the key to a circular economy; human, to reinforce collaboration and recognize the value of people and their knowledge, forming social resilience’.
With approximately 2,300 municipalities in Argentina with more or less 90% accommodating anywhere between 2,000/3,000 -10,000/15,000 inhabitants, the question that resides with Maximiliano Baranoff, founder of Ocean 0KM, is the quantity of residue that is produced, and what is done with it. With vast amounts of trash being passed around cities due to lack of space and infrastructure, Baranoff highlights the unnecessary expenditures involved in this movement and now campaigns search of help to treat matters such as waste management, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility.
With the use of 100% electric cars, and a dedicated group of volunteers including students, Ocean0km works to collect residues off the beach, having already covered Mar del Plata, Pinamar, San Isidro, Villa Gesell and Vincente Lopez. It continues to spread awareness about their work, increasing the communication between both public and private sectors of society, forging relationships and ultimately working together to articulate and implicate the importance of waste reduction.
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Esto es un pequeño resumen de lo que fue la jornada de capacitaciones para chicos por @ocean0km y la limpieza de playa en Mar del Plata. Felices de haber estado ahí, y muy agradecidos con todos los que se acercaron. ? Muchas gracias @turismomardelplata Aguante la feliz! ? @ocean0km Preparando ciudades para cuidar el impacto en los océanos. ? Sumate a este viaje. ➡️♻️? #volviendoACero #medioambiente #zerowaste #concientizar #savetheenvironment #world #earth #cleanupday, #volviendoACero, #internationalcoastalcleanup, #OceanosSinPlasticos, #nodejesrastro #ciudadessustentables #empecemosporcasa #take3forthesea #economiacircular #residuos #energia #sustainableenergy #sustentable #worldcleanupday #ocean #concientizar #educacion #gestionderesiduos #basura @mamalandbioplasticos @mundoidia @sinazulnohayverde @empecemosporcasa @oceanconservancy @renaultarg @ambientenacion @sancorsegurosar
The idea is to move Ocean0km down through Patagonia, clearing the entire coastline before moving to other countries such as Chile, Uruguay and Peru, educating cities about the negative impact that waste production has on the oceans, through workshops and educational talks.
Power Chair Football Argentina
Established in Argentina in 2012, PCFA works with young athletes with motor disabilities, developing their soccer skills and encouraging them to practice sport as a way to improve their self-confidence and promote their social inclusion. As stated by Baptiste Barriere, coach of PCFA, “we want to make PCFA accessible to all of those who want to play in Argentina, whether as a recreational activity or at a more competitive level”. Standing as the only sport in the country adapted for those who, due to their disability, have to use a motorized wheelchair, PCFA encourages these sportsmen to transform from spectators to players, with teams in Cordoba, Rosario, Pacheco, La Plata, Mar del Plata and Bahia Blanca.
With some of the best specifically trained referees and coaches in the world, PFCA doesn’t stop at a regional level and continues to compete both nationally and globally, currently working towards the South American Cup at the end of November. Grounded on the values of Integrity, Excellence, Team Work and Responsibility, studies have shown that 64% of the player’s confidence has increased since they joined PCFA, with 100% of players stating that it has improved their cognitive development.