Appreciative of the peace and tranquillity of the natural surroundings of her community, 17-year-old Judith Pinto, a high school student in the Iglesia District of Argentina, is motivated to find creative ways to protect the environment surrounding her home.
According to recent studies by Josemaria, local youth struggle with the fewest opportunities in the Iglesia District. In response to their findings, the Lundin Foundation worked with the local team to develop a “Green World Cup” initiative or Mundialito Verde — where young people came to participate in creating innovative environmental solutions for the area.
Judith, an observant young woman, notices environmental changes and sees opportunities to build awareness about sustainable solutions in her community.
“Nowadays everything is changing, isn’t it? From the weather up to the landscapes and more,” explains Judith.
“The greatest dream, I would love that here, in Iglesia, is some kind of recycler or factory that could be developed that does not pollute the environment, but, on the contrary, helps it.”
For the “Ideas World Cup,” participants formed groups and worked on Environmental and Circular Economy challenges: organic waste management, non-organic waste management, recovery of degraded areas for cultivation and ecotourism.
Young people from Angualasto, Tudcum, Rodeo, Las Flores and other Iglesia district towns attended. After the presentations and the initial motivational talk given by an entrepreneur from the city of San Juan, the teams were encouraged to develop their ideas through a CANVAS analysis. Then, with a World Cup atmosphere, shirts with the names of the different countries were given out to groups, and the competition began!
After a few hours of work, the groups introduced their projects to a jury formed by professionals from INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology), the Agrotechnical School, the Secretary of the Environment of the government of San Juan, the Municipality of Iglesia and the Industrial Union of San Juan.
The winner was Team Argentina, who presented their project on Topsoil generated by organic waste in the Iglesia District.
Exciting prizes, such as training courses and sustainable gifts, were given to the winning groups. In addition, all participants were given a certificate and will be invited to visit sustainable industries in San Juan and the Anchipurac Environmental Center.
When asked about her hopes for the future, Judith was optimistic as long as there were initiatives to share important environmental information far and wide with the community.
“It is important that we create awareness, because people out there are not aware of what they are doing, of the damage they are causing,” says Judith. “Maybe showing videos, to show how it is affecting and thus being able to start helping to carry out campaigns, where bottles or some type of organic waste can be recycled.”
Together with Josemaria, the Foundation plans to continue implementing support programs in the community that encourage the development of the circular economy and green initiatives.