New Delhi: With a deeply rooted commitment to educational advocacy Miss Colombia 2022, Camila Pinzon, has chosen to spend a meaningful time with a special initiative in India. Camila's visit aims to empower children and promote educational opportunities, fostering hope and determination among underserved communities during this significant time of the year.
During her stay in India, Camila will be engaging with children in various child centres, providing educational materials and delivering motivational speeches. Her focus lies not only on tangible resources but also on changing mindsets, emphasizing discipline, and the transformative power of education.
Reflecting on her elevated platform as Miss Colombia, Camila stated, "Becoming Miss Colombia has amplified my voice and extended my reach to a broader audience. It has magnified the impact of my efforts to champion educational policies and challenge societal barriers, allowing me to advocate for positive change on a larger scale." Beyond these educational initiatives, Camila has made a deliberate choice to address menstrual stigma, recognizing its profound impact on girls' education.
KHUSHII’s (Kinship for Humanitarian Social and Holistic Intervention) “Pads for Freedom” campaign focuses on workshops and discussions, to dispel myths surrounding menstruation and encourage young girls to view menstrual health as a natural and essential aspect of their well-being. The objective of the campaign is to ensure that girls feel empowered to continue their education without fear or stigma, thereby fostering an environment conducive to their academic success. The silence on menstruation is pushing adolescent girls out of school, creating a cycle of neglect that is taking away their right to equal opportunity.
In the last 4 months, this campaign has reached 33,000 girls across several states in India making a tangible positive impact. KHUSHII’s commitment to ensuring the holistic development of every child in India led to the setting up of sanitary pad manufacturing units which are run by women who are trained and organized as Self Help Groups (SHGs) to produce environment-friendly, biodegradable sanitary pads to serve the disadvantaged girls and women. The Pads distributed in this campaign are made by these empowered women residing in remote villages, creating financial and skills opportunities for them.
Camila passionately believes in the campaign’s objective and she became so engrossed with the varied participant mix of children, mothers of the students and staff members that she didn’t realize it was time for her to leave KHUSHII’s Swatantra Shikshaantra school and move onwards with a comeback promise from her next year as KHUSHII had touched her heart beyond expression.
She carried back her beautiful memories embedded in a card made for her, especially by KHUSHII’s dynamic children. KHUSHII is an independent Not-for-profit organization working for the upliftment and holistic development of underprivileged children, women and vulnerable families.
Shikshaantra Plus is a dedicated school transformation programme that tackles the obstacles hindering student learning in Government Schools and “Swatantra Shikshaantra is KHUSHII’s independent school with its inception in 2007.
Camila, a passionate advocate for educational policies, brings her extensive background in management and marketing, holding two master's degrees from Sorbonne University in Paris. Her mission is driven by the belief that education serves as a pivotal tool in eradicating social disparities, echoing her ongoing efforts across ten countries, including recent endeavours in Turkey, Syria, Poland, Ukraine, Indonesia, Kenya, among others.
Having fluency in French, English, Spanish, and Italian, Camila's dedication to education has transcended borders. Her guest lectureship at the University of Cambridge underscores her commitment to inspire and empower future generations globally.
"Education opens doors and transcends boundaries. My goal is to empower these children, irrespective of their circumstances, and instil the belief that with determination, discipline, and education, they can achieve anything they set their minds to." reflecting on her mission, shares Camila Pinzon .
Camila sees parallels between India and Colombia, particularly in confronting societal inequalities. Choosing to visit India during the Christmas season was a deliberate decision, she views this period as an opportune moment to extend hope and joy to children facing significant challenges, aiming to illuminate their lives during this festive period.
Speaking about her decision to include menstrual well-being in her mission, Camila expressed, "Menstrual stigma continues to pose barriers to girls' education globally. By addressing this issue, we aim to empower girls to embrace their well-being confidently and pursue their educational aspirations without hindrance."
Supported by organizations such as the French Embassy and the French Alliance, Camila's visit not only underscores her dedication to holistic educational development but also amplifies her belief in the transformative power of language. This collaboration seamlessly aligns with her mission to promote language learning and cultural exchange, thereby shaping young minds and fostering a more inclusive society.
(With inputs from IANS)