Ramon Pineda has a dream. It's a dream of a better future for the place that he loves. It's also a vision for the future of Few for Change/Unidos por el Cambio.
Ramon, a Few for Change community volunteer from Hato Ratón, calls his vision Unidos por la Comarca (United for the Comarca). Unidos por la Comarca would grow out of the work of Unidos por el Cambio (the spanish language name for Few for Change), creating a community-based organization run by former Few for Change scholars and Ngäbe leaders that would serve the entire Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé. Unidos por la Comarca would go beyond simply supporting educational access to strengthen entire communities. This vision speaks to the hope for a better future, one in which the people of the Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé empower each other to break the cycle of poverty and build healthy, sustainable communities. Ramon has already started sharing this dream through inspirational workshops for the Few for Change scholarship recipients. "This scholarship is not for you," he likes to remind the students, "it is for the Comarca."
"My hope, my dream is that the students of Few for Change can form Unidos por la Comarca," Ramon told us earlier this year. "I hope that they study and prepare themselves and that with the seeds that (Few for Change) is giving them, they form a group here in the Comarca that can benefit future generations."
That dream resonates with us because it is our dream as well. We started Few for Change because we wanted to give back to the families and communities of the Comarca that had welcomed us with open arms and shared their lives and their culture with us. We quickly realized, however, that in order to support lasting, sustainable, positive change in these places, that we would need more than just money for scholarships. Planting the seeds of change by educating the next generation is a good first step, one that we hope will empower the future leaders of these communities to cultivate progress for Ngäbe people. Inspired by our shared vision for the future of the Comarca, we are so excited to continue working with Ramon to provide our students with the support necessary to work towards this vision.