Santiago Andrade Pinto
Fellow Since 1998
This profile was prepared when Santiago Andrade Pinto was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
Santiago is creating spaces for youth dialogue on themes which are important to them, enabling young people to be protagonists and not only spectators in solving society's problems. His programs support national and international debate between youth, giving them an opportunity to formulate innovative ideas for social betterment. These alternative spaces include a national network of youth volunteers and the New Generation foundation. Objectives of this organization, created for and by youth, include generating mechanisms for youth participation and expression, supporting youth social and productive initiatives in their communities, training volunteers in projects for community development, and combating poverty and improving the quality of life of marginalized sectors. Santiago hopes to consolidate a true "school of youth volunteerism," linking the youth with projects for the development of their communities through activities which they enjoy. The participating young people receive constant training by professionals and other youth with more experience.The church has historically been the primary institution which summons youth, but always along a religious line. Santiago's network has no religious or political affiliations and seeks only to capture the authentic values of youth, as defined by young people themselves. By incorporating all denominations and providing an array of activities which young people find interesting, he attracts a far wider audience of young people to his programs than church and political organizations have traditionally been able to do.