Right before dawn on April 26th, Hivos General Director Edwin Huizing put on a pair of colorful glasses and gazed at dozens of people who waited silently in their seats. His intention was to lead them in symbolic time travel to the year 2020. “I have the privilege to take you to the year 2020,” he said with a smile and added, “Who can predict what the world will look like then? We will not get into speculation, but will focus on our strategy…” With these words, Huizing set out Hivos’ vision of the coming years at our event, The future is calling us from Latin America.
The event brought together key participants to discuss the organization’s work over the past five years and to project its future strategy. Hivos Latin America, based in Costa Rica, received San José government representatives such as the Vice Minister of the Presidency for Political Affairs Ana Gabriel Zúñiga, Netherlands Ambassador Mette Gonggrijp and representatives of Hivos’ partner organizations throughout the region. Myrtille Danse, Director of Hivos Latin America, opened the event.
Dineke van den Oudenalder, former Hivos Central America Director, and Corina Straatma, former Hivos South America Director, then presented the results of Hivos’ work in the región during the past five years. One of the most important projects mentioned was Accese, with over 250 thousand persons benefiting from renewable, descentralized energy initiatives and a network of more than 70 organizations.
They also highlighted the work of Hivos’ partner organizations that were the driving force behind changes with regional impact, such as the ‘Guatemalan Spring’, and their advocacy successes in inclusive LGBTI legistlation and the strengthening of independent media. Other important projects focused on HIV-AIDS prevention financed by Global Fund and implemented by Hivos and its partners, in which Public Private Partnerships between businesses, organizations, governments and frontrunners played a crucial role in achieving these results.
Edwin Huizing closed by recognizing the region’s successes in reducing poverty and reducing inequality in the last sixteen years. He added that Hivos’ strategy shares this perspective and will continue its firm commitment to social change in Latin America. “Our dream for 2020 is that all countries will have become more open and green, with vibrant, innovative societies,” he said.
Hivos is an international organization that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, we oppose discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources.
The organization started its work in Latin America 40 years ago and opened its first regional office 22 years ago. Hivos works with more than 550 partner organizations all over the region and has invested over € 150 million in Latin America in the last five years.