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Changing the world 10 years ago

Santos didn't think he could change the world either. However, little by little, he is achieving it.

We don't think we can  change the world . That nothing we do is enough, that evil is already done and is almost irremediable. But with very little we can make a difference, and that very little can become something much bigger. It is only enough to have an attitude of service and willingness to change. Getting out of the comfortable place where we sit to convince ourselves that there is nothing within our reach to change the injustices of the world. It's true: there is too much to change. We see around us an incomprehenchable injustice. And that distresses us, indignites us and slows us down.

But there are people like Santos Garcia Ferreira who used that indignation as an engine to start an unstoppable machine. At only 18 years old, he gathered a group of friends to collaborate in dining rooms and geriatric homes, and distribute food and clothes to people in street situations in the city of Córdoba. The young people left aside, for a moment, the desire to do activities typical of the age and did not hesitate to embark on that  mission  all the more satisfying than any game of play or football match. They discovered in those encounters that they were also enriched and empowered.

Then Santos discovered it: beyond the material help that can be provided, people like to feel loved, accompanied and respected. The group not only distributed material things, but also offered acts of affection often underrated: time and listening. Santos and his friends offered merchandise to meet basic needs, yes, but they also stopped to chat with the people they attended, lend their ears to know their stories, and exchanged learning. That was how all the participants, volunteers and assistants, were building a network of connection much more powerful than a simple charity activity.

Today, ten years later, Santos is a doctor and was able to translate that spirit of social assistance in the organization he created: Fundación Iconos ( www.fundacioniconos.com ). The spirit of this project is clearly reflected in its official website, where collaborations can be made and where they claim to be “a Cordovan non-profit organization that seeks to accompany vulnerable communities through different actions. The foundation is supported by the work of volunteers and the contribution of donors (...) He is currently developing the Sustainable Communes project, which involves different activities in the fields of health, education, recycling, renewable energy, social entrepreneurship and sustainable urbanism. In addition, there are regular training and knowledge meetings for volunteers. “Its main objective is “to meet the basic needs and development of the largest number of isolated populations in  Córdoba . “

Together with its fixed members and a large number of  volunteers , they travel the rural areas in the Traslasierras area, about 200 kilometers from the Cordovan capital. A sector often invisible to the rulers of the area. There, Fundación Iconos members carry comprehensive health care monthly to people in situations of social vulnerability and isolation. No matter how many years have passed since the group's first action, the purpose is the same: to generate bonds, ties that unite them with those people who need it so much.

The vulnerability of many sectors of our society is enormous and the resources we have to twist that situation are scarce. Still, both Santos and the members of other organizations are dedicated to creating bridges that remind us that it is possible to put our bit to modify what is wrong. He didn't think he could change the world either. However, little by little, he is achieving it.

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