GARIMA KARIA, THE HINDU (Expository/Other)
Julio and Juan, the founders of HPVetoed, stand by their venture that seeks to combat cervix cancer in Venezuela.
BOSTON: It’s Friday morning, and HNMUN delegates are already awake and working hard in various respects. Some have been writing clauses with their bloc members since 9am. Others have been researching tirelessly with cups of coffee by their sides. For some, working hard this morning came in the form of participating in HNMUN 2017’s Social Venture Challenge, a forum that provides “a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders” to showcase their unique social venture projects. While some projects focused on medical accessibility and others on allowing underprivileged youth to pursue their artistic passion, one idea brought every project together: the selfless endeavor to improve the lives of others.
Hitting Close to Home
I had the opportunity to meet delegates from across the globe and hear about their diverse and impactful venture proposals. Every venture proposal team spoke passionately about their causes that addressed real social problems, often impacting communities in their home countries. Julio and Juan, two medical students from Venezuela, decided to embark on their project so that they can help the Venezuelan women that are victims of this diseases. According to the partner, HPV is the number one cause of cancer-related death in Venezuelan women, and they hope that their venture can help fix this statistic. “It’s very inspiring for us to be
able to take our Venezuelan delegates to HNMUN because they come from so many different backgrounds,” says Juan. “At HNMUN, they can learn about negotiation, international relations… which will help them success and thrive in their professional lives back home. It’s for that same reason that we’re fostering our project to combat HPV.” Juan and Julio’s venture, HPVetoed, advocates for the empowerment of women affected by HPV and the alleviation of this disease by improving treatment methods in hospitals, starting with the one they work at in Caracas, and raising consciousness and awareness about the harmful impacts of HPV in their home country. HPVetoed wasn’t the only
venture proposal that brought delegates’ consciousness of issues in their home countries to HNMUN. A dynamic team of three from Indonesia proposes Dentmox, a social venture that seeks to distribute “dental magic boxes” with automatic ultraviolet basis sterilizing innovations to rural areas. “We saw that dental hygiene is inaccessible in rural Indonesia, and we seek to eliminate that inaccessibility through this social venture,” one team member told me.
In Pursuit of Passion
“Many aid programs only provide the necessities, like food and money, to orphans in Ghana,” the Smiling Hearts team told me. Their goal is to give these Ghanaian orphans “what they really want,” such as scholarships for better and extended education, access to sports teams, and clubs like Model UN. The Smiling Hearts team visited many orphanages in Ghana, and seeks to provide rich, stimulating, and dynamic educational opportunities to the youth they met during their visits. “We want them to be motivated and engaged… the way to do that is to allow them to pursue their passions,” they tell me. Similarly, Khalid Hossain Anik from Bangladesh is pursuing a venture that marries his love of photography, design, and entrepreneurship – one shared by many others that he’s met. His venture, Photopreneurs, has been launched and supported by Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and endeavors to combat youth unemployment and the hampering of freedom of expression by creating and empowering “photo entrepreneurs.” This venture has been called “a platform for aspiring photographers” that are passionate about this art form, but also about raising awareness. Twenty “photopreneurs” have already been directly impacted by this initiative that provides them with training, mentorship, funding and equipment, as well as channels to publish their work. With no signs of stopping anytime soon, this passion-turned-profession venture continues to flourish in both South Asia and abroad.
“Being” the Change
The Resolution Project, the non-profit that facilitates the Social Venture Challenge, is “proud to have partnered with HNMUN for four years,” said Rachel Brophy, Program Manager. She and Lucas Rivers, Program Coordinator, are representing The Resolution Project at HNMUN this weekend. To learn more about the Resolution Project, check out resolutionproject.org!
As I strolled through the Social Venture forum, I felt invigorated and inspired as I witnessed youth educating youth about ways to harness our privilege and opportunities in order to better the lives of others. Both inside committee and out, HNMUN delegates embody this mindset, and it’s the pursuit of this agency that will allow us to truly “be the change” we all wish to see in this world.