Time Magazine recently recognized her as the 2019 Person of the Year. But Thunberg’s recognition is bittersweet in the opinion of Mario Raimondi, the executive director of El Desafio (Spanish for “The Challenge”), an Argentinian organization based in the city of Rosario that “defies poverty through social innovation.”
“I feel there’s something contradictory about youth around the world getting involved with important issues, such as Greta Thunberg with the climate emergency or as we’ve seen in the U.S., with young people demonstrating against gun violence,” says Raimondi.
Raimondi feels that on the one hand, we should support these movements based on their merit. But on the other hand, “it’s a very different thing to celebrate [these movements], because kids shouldn’t have to be doing these things. As adults, we should be the responsible ones that take care of these problems.”
Raimondi’s focus as a founding member of El Desafio has been on preparing young people with foundational skills designed to help them to realize their true potential, get off the streets and back in school, and over the long term live healthier, more rewarding lives.
In other words, a personal growth path that sharply contrasts the downward spiral many of Rosario’s impoverished youth get caught up in…a life of drugs, crime and, far too often, an early death. (,,,)