Fellow Spotlight: Mariano’s Venture to Support LGBTIQ Refugees in Argentina

People By Robyn Burns Feb 5, 2024

The Western Union Foundation is proud to support young entrepreneurs who are launching or scaling community ventures. This year’s fellowship program includes 47 emerging leaders who are provided with business training and seed funding to support their community organizations.

“My participation in the 2023-2024 Western Union Foundation Fellowship has been nothing short of transformative. The Fellowship has provided an invaluable platform for personal and professional growth, allowing me to engage with diverse global leaders and change-makers. It has positioned our organization for sustained growth and increased effectiveness,” shared Mariano.

Mariano launched his NGO, Derechos Humanos y Diversidad, in Argentina to support LBGTIQ asylum seekers and refugees as they seek safety and stability in a new country. The organization established the nation’s first LGBTIQ service center and provided free resettlement services to over 300 individuals from seven nationalities.

“Above all, the Western Union Foundation Fellowship has been meaningful on a personal level. It has reinforced my commitment to championing the rights and well-being of the LGBTIQ community, particularly those seeking asylum in Argentina. I am deeply grateful for this enriching experience and the ongoing support that will undoubtedly leave a lasting imprint on the impact we create for LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees in Argentina.”

The Western Union Foundation launched the Fellowship in partnership with Watson Institute in 2021 to provide entrepreneurs with business training and seed funding to launch their own community-focused ventures. The impact of the program is further amplified by Basecamps that each Fellow organizes to provide training and resources to community members. To date, the Western Union Foundation Fellowship and Basecamps have supported more than 2,200 individuals.

Click here to donate to the Western Union Foundation and support even more social entrepreneurs as they change lives in communities around the world.