Project Name: Green Consumer Fair
Written By: Amberle Lim
With the many successful projects from our last Changemakers Across the World program, our executive team has decided to highlight the hard work of several of our participants. Our first feature is dedicated to Alice Gimenez Dutra, an individual who embodied the role of a leader in both her community and as a member of our program. Her project “Green Consumer Fair” was an incredible success, and her efforts alongside others helped bring this vision to life.
I had the opportunity to interview her about her experience and she shared several pieces of important information about her overall journey as a part of our CATW program.
In the first phases of this project, Alice was hoping to find an outlet to bring this fair to life. When she came across our program, she was thrilled to discover that her idea aligned to the core values of CATW and she finally felt that she had found a way to “make a difference.” When I spoke to Alice about what factors drew her in, she explained that our main goal of the season was what caught her attention — to spread awareness of social issues and, at the same time, provide a network to the community leaders. She strongly felt that this program was a match for what she had envisioned, and decided to step out of her comfort zone to catalyze change.
Many participants entering this program might wonder how she discovered CATW, which is another question that Alice took the opportunity to answer. She explained that her participation with another organization, Female Leaders of the Americas, is what prompted her application process.
“It caught my attention, since it was exactly what I was looking for.”
In addition to the initial phases of her application, I was curious about the work that went along with her project. My main question was: why did you choose this project?
Alice’s response overall encapsulated her passion for raising awareness regarding the problems associated with consumerism. Her dedication to this topic is what inspired her to bring this fair to life and she explained that she “did not want to only talk about it, but actually put it into practice.” She wanted to inspire the youth and adults in her community to pay closer attention to their behaviour as consumers in a fun, interactive way. There were several ideas that she wanted to experiment with, but she decided that the fair would be the wisest choice since participants could “share things that they wouldn't use anymore and, at the same time, exchange new clothes, books and even food that they wanted to!” The event was incredibly planned and the turnout was spectacular; Alice was able to unite the community and simultaneously spread the news about the heightened problems surrounding our current day consumerism.
She explained that, “it is very rewarding to realize that these small steps can guarantee big changes.”
In preparation for her fair, she explained that Leaders Across the World helped her kickstart this project by covering the financial costs that helped her achieve her goals. She shared that “the meetings were essential to shape the project and turn it into something concrete.” Hence, her involvement with CATW helped support her project as “meeting new people and knowledge made it possible to bring new perspectives” to the table.
Alice’s project was incredibly well executed and she was able to demonstrate the impact of consumerism on the environment and how it can affect our future. Although there were some challenges, she felt that her team was able to show the rest of the community that they were also willing to inspire the change! From her reports, she shared that her team was always engaged with their tasks and all the support and encouragement from their leadership helped get her project off the drawing board. Additionally, she shared that the project helped her become more involved in her community and it has opened many doors for her to continue making a positive impact.
For our final question, I asked her to share several words of wisdom to our future CATW participants. She simply summed it up with a quote.
“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality.” - Malala Yousafzai.
She explained that this quote truly reflects what it means to be a CATW participant. “It is about accepting the challenge with creativeness and being ready to be the change you want to see in your community.”
Alice’s hard work was certainly tangible in her community and Leaders Across the World is proud to have had her as a CATW participant.