Beyond the Office: Hunger & Micro-Entrepreneurs

Our team is committed to a sustainable future and improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of our many local communities. Today, we continue our series about what employees are doing beyond the office. We are very proud members of our team have carved out time to give back.

Montevideo Health Save Movement

Meet Fernando. Fernando is a developer and team lead here at Oktana. He’s a member of Montevideo Health Save Movement, an organization that promotes the benefits of a balanced, plant-based diet. 

What is the goal of the Montevideo Health Save Movement?

Health Save Movement is an organization that started in Canada. It was created to protect animals that were taken to be butchered for consumption. From there, other communities began to create diverse nonprofits organizations. Like the Climate Save Movement, an institution that helps to take care of the environment. At Montevideo Health Save Movement, we’re an organization that shares the benefits of a full, plant-based diet. Our goal is not to publicize this lifestyle, but to demonstrate that this lifestyle is accessible to everyone (due to the low cost of supplies). And it helps prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disorders, and others.

What activities does this organization usually arrange?

We realized that in Ciudad Vieja (the historic old quarter of Montevideo, Uruguay) there is a higher percentage of residents with socioeconomic challenges. A team of volunteers made a healthy, plant-based meal they were able to share for free with the residents of this neighborhood. Called ‘olla común’, these community efforts to feed those who are less fortunate are common in Latin America. To select which plate of food we are going to offer, we have a specialized nutritionist plan the meal. In this way, we can offer a dish with a high nutritional level and show that with vegetable ingredients you can have a balanced diet with no food waste.

In fact, we also noticed several organizations that shared a free meal in different parts of Montevideo stopped their operations because they didn’t have enough money to cover all the supplies. Which generally included animal protein. We did a comparison and noticed that the cost of a vegan dish with high nutritional value is much lower than a traditional dish with animal protein. Now we partner with these organizations to teach them that a nutritious meal doesn’t necessarily need to include animal protein. This provides an option so they can continue to feed those who are hungry and continue to bring benefit to the community. 

We also hold vegan food tastings and workshops. That way we present interesting facts about nutrition and how to eat a healthy vegan diet.

What are your main functions in the organization?

There are three of us in charge of leading the organization. We all divide the main functions,  such as keeping our social networks updated, planning content, managing the logistics and supplies for the popular meals, fundraising, and organizing all of the volunteers.

I invite you all to visit our social network, where you can review all the activities we host and learn how you can also participate.

Guerrero Entrepreneur

Beyond the office - helping entrepreneurs

Meet Rosa. Rosa is a product marketer and participated in Guerrero Entrepreneur, a program created to support different Peruvian micro-entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19.

What is the Guerrero Entrepreneur program about?

The Guerrero Entrepreneur program was created to support Peruvian micro-entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic. Currently, through virtual volunteering, this organization has trained, supported and promoted more than 1,000 micro-entrepreneurs. The goal is to instruct and guide entrepreneurs for five weeks to provide them with tools that allow them to face the economic and social impact of the virus. Each volunteer is partnered with a micro-entrepreneur.

In your case, which micro-entrepreneur did you help?

I was assigned to advise a young entrepreneur living in a small town called Trujillo. She runs a business selling flower pots and different types of houseplants. Her goal was to increase sales by expanding the shipment of products to Lima, the capital. 

Over the course of the five weeks, we met virtually by Zoom to discuss how her business was doing. We put together different types of assessments. Like a Business Model Canvas, Buyer Persona, and Budget Plan. Also, we implemented different digital marketing strategies including a Facebook campaign to gain potential customers. Finally, we were able to improve the packaging of her product to solve problems in shipping long distances.

Was it the first time you participated in this type of volunteer opportunity?

I’ve participated in face-to-face volunteering, where I taught young children math or language classes, but this was the first time I participated in a virtual volunteering event. It was also the first time I was able to share some of my professional knowledge with a Peruvian entrepreneur.

We hope these stories motivate you to explore volunteer opportunities in your community. Given the pandemic, it might be a great time to explore virtual volunteering. Here’s a list of virtual volunteer opportunities for inspiration!

We are always looking for new talent, you can check our open positions.

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