By: Kimberly Rosas Tejada (@lyt.kym) and Maricielo Guillén Nina (@maguini_)
In recent years, solidarity campaigns have become an essential means to promote and encourage social causes and achieve changes in community behavior. Christmas is a time when feelings of brotherhood and solidarity emerge in people through sharing, providing social support, and other customs. With this in mind, the collectives include Christmas campaigns that reflect the fraternal spirit and the warmth of home that characterize this last month of the year. From this perspective, campaigns make it possible to create spaces to motivate behavior change, convincing and raising awareness among the population to respond to the challenges of today's world, and to achieve a social commitment in the members of our community. Solidarity is a value that we should continuously cultivate, practice, and inculcate, and it is at Christmas when it seems to be more present than ever. So these dates are a great opportunity to put it into practice by celebrating a solidarity Christmas.
The motivations of social campaigns can be multiple, such as reviving the feeling of the Christmas season in communities in need, allowing hope to be renewed, and giving rise to the goodwill. In addition, organizations and volunteers can be motivated to offer a more human perspective of inclusion and a vision of creating a world of equal opportunities, understanding that excluding makes us lose something precious. Volunteers become ambassadors of a better society while knowing, experiencing, and living the values. To a greater extent, the target population of these efforts not only enjoys a day of sharing emotions and happiness but also the Christmas campaigns offer that comforting embrace to continue fighting with the vicissitudes and create new stories for the future.
A social perspective that allows multiplying the spirit of solidarity
The Peruvian Institute of Economy determined with great precision the increase of 10.6 percentage points in the poverty rate during a pandemic year, from 18% in 2019 to 28.6% in 2020. The numbers, although revealing, fail to outline the needs that Peruvians have faced during the serious health, social and political crisis, whose effects have radiated even to this last month of the year 2022. In this line, it is not surprising that vulnerable populations -children, the elderly, single-parent families, etc.- receive the weight of the most constant socioeconomic problems in the nation: food insecurity, unemployment, school dropouts, housing in precarious situations, and inadequate working conditions. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), the poverty index due to Unsatisfied Needs (NBI) during 2021 impacted 16.1% of the national population. This means that, beyond monetary indicators, it can be ensured that at least 5,343,472 Peruvian families live in homes with overcrowding, inadequate physical characteristics, drainage of any kind, with children who do not attend a school, or with high economic dependence.
The panorama described, although it responds to a structural problem, to which the state policies of subsidiarity have not been able to put an end; is not exclusive to those populations that suffer from it, but rather it is a joint mission. Development Goal number 1 of the 2030 Agenda, ending poverty in all its forms throughout the world, is a call for solidarity and altruism. While it is true that the Christmas season should not be the only time that allows feelings of empathy to emerge, it is impossible to deny that the impact and scope of solidarity campaigns during Christmas are visibly positive. A notorious example of this is the "Christmas is Sharing" campaign of NGOs such as Cáritas Peru, which in 2020 managed to implement 30 common pots in Lima and the provinces, with more than 15,000 people benefiting. In the same way, associations and religious groups, voluntary organizations, companies, businesses, educational institutions, and natural persons independently, allow multiplying the spirit of solidarity that is impregnated in the hearts of all Peruvians.
UPY and its work as a benchmark for social impact through Christmas campaigns
"I share, I impact", the Christmas campaign carried out by the members of United Peruvian Youth (UPY) in the last year was a great milestone in the short but significant history of our organization, education was, as always, our greatest motivation and how we want to contribute to society, specifically in Occollo, Ayacucho and in Pachacútec, Ventanilla. Thanks to the collaboration of people and organizations, it was possible to deliver the 380 educational kits, whose main objective is to contribute to closing the material gap in access to study resources, in addition to being able to share a workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals. Thanks to the help of our volunteers. This year, we seek to repeat our mission, directing our desire and passion for education to the city of Chavín de Huántar, projecting a greater reach to 651 beneficiaries, experience allows us to have a better outlook in the organization and execution of the education campaign. This year, in this way we seek to decentralize our objective.
Volunteering could be briefly defined as helping third parties to respond to a problem and reduce a need, but it should not be limited to solidarity actions that have no significance (Bolívar-Ramírez et al., 2021). The Christmas season usually brings with it the demonstration of the solidarity of people, especially children, and adolescents, so you should not seek to carry out Christmas campaigns that do not generate an impact on the chosen group, but be clear about a specific background to be able to plant a small seed that is not forgotten, nor is it just the memory of a special day that is expected every December.
Bolívar-Ramírez, M., Gaitán-Acosta, K., Moreno-Ardila, K. V., & Moreno-Garzón, D. C. (2021). Experiencias de voluntariado como estrategia para fomentar habilidades emocionales en jóvenes universitarios. Educación y desarrollo personal (1a ed., pág. 17). Bogotá: Universidad Católica de Colombia. Retrieved from https://repository.ucatolica.edu.co/bitstream/10983/26644/1/04%20Art%c3%adculo%20Educaci%c3%b3n%20y%20desarrollo.pdf
United Peruvian Youth. (s.f.). Inicio - United Peruvian Youth. https://www.unitedperuvianyouth.com/copia-de-upy-aprende Cierra con éxito la campaña ‘Navidad es compartir’ de Cáritas y RPP. (22 de Diciembre de 2020). Retrieved from RPP Noticias: https://rpp.pe/peru/actualidad/cierra-con-exito-la-campana-navidad-es-compartir-de-caritas-y-rpp-video-noticia-1311256
INEI. (2022). Diálogos CIES Perú Sostenible: Las nuevas cifras de pobreza 2021. Lima: INEI. Retrieved from https://www.inei.gob.pe/media/MenuRecursivo/boletines/pobreza-monetaria-2021-cies-10-05-2022.pdf
Trivelli, C. (2022). Índice de pobreza: ¿cómo se ubica el Perú en relación con los demás países de Sudamérica? Instituto de Estudios Peruano. Retrieved from https://iep.org.pe/noticias/indice-de-pobreza-como-se-ubica-el-peru-en-relacion-con-los-demas-paises-de-sudamerica/
United Peruvian Youth. (s.f.). Inicio - United Peruvian Youth. https://www.unitedperuvianyouth.com/copia-de-upy-aprende