Natalia Allende - Chile
Story told by David Wygant
Natalia used the 2012 Be the Change Conference as her launch pad for blasting into Design for Change. Indeed, Natalia brings the energy of a rocket to the effort and adventure, although, she credits other people for inspiring her. In her own words, “I decided definitely to jump on board with this incredibly talented, generous and sweet team of global partners.”
More words from Natalia: “Our inspiration grows as the children bring results and success. When we received our first batch of videos we were moved and excited by the results. It was inspiring to see what the children in Chile had done.”
“Apart from the winning story which Semanti has brilliantly called “A CANteen for All,” there was a group that organized a network of schools and municipal entities to care for the elderly in their neighborhood. A third group of children worked on finding a way to protect the environment in the gorgeous region of Chile where they live.”
When asked about the future, Natalia says, “How can I not think that the future for Design for Change and for Chile holds much promise? I really want DFC Chile to grow and become strong. I really am looking forward to achieving all the things I have in mind but still have not reached.”
Natalia goes on to say that the largest challenges she and her team face are volunteer recruiting and financing. In volunteer recruiting, the most difficult hurdle to jump over is the volunteers’ own fear and lack of confidence. The fear of failure looms large. Then there isn’t a financing “silver bullet” seen yet. Nonetheless, Natalia has faith that adding up little amounts here and there from different sources: workshops, crowdsourcing, and partnerships with bigger organizations will continue to carry the day.
In the end, she seems to just face forward and walk one step at a time. She uses simple words to describe her solid determination: “To be brave and to just continue doing what I’m supposed to do, when I’m in the face of difficulties.’
Natalia was born in Santiago, Chile and currently lives in Washington DC. She is a teacher with a Masters in Aesthetics and a Masters in Literature from American University. Natalia worked as a teacher for 15 years in the classroom followed by several years at the Embassy of Chile in the USA. She has spent the past five years translating, including 2 years with Design for Change.
Natalia’s travels include much of South America, the USA, Italy and India. She has done some writing beginning with a grant to study for her Masters in Literature. An English textbook that she and two colleagues wrote won the Chilean Government call for bids and was widely published in the Chilean public school system.
Natalia attended the Be the Change Conference in 2012 and is attending this year (2014).