Qualitas of Life
Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial education to Hispanic individuals and their families, in order to foster their financial security and improve their standard of living. We work to advance the economic prosperity of Hispanic individuals and their families through comprehensive financial education and asset-building program. Over the past decade, we have developed a wealth of resources to reach the broad and diverse Hispanic community and to ensure that thousands of immigrants and first-generation Hispanic-Americans have the tools to take control of their finances and break the cycle of poverty.
In 2004, Marcela Orvañanos de Rovzar moved to New York City; as a Mexican philanthropist with a background in capacity building and fundraising, Marcela was startled by the critical living conditions of Hispanics and was determined to find the means to support this community. After consulting with financial education experts and working closely with community members, Marcela founded Qualitas of Life Foundation.
Qualitas of Life’s financial education workshops began in 2007 and thanks to the continued support of our Board, team, facilitators, committed volunteer base, sponsors, and strategic alliances- we have expanded our educational program to community centers and organizations in all 5 boroughs of New York.
Qualitas of Life works hand in hand with community-based organizations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts to provide financial education workshops to the Hispanic migrant community. Currently, we work with over fifty nonprofit community partners throughout the Tri-state area. Our workshops are free, bilingual, and easy to understand for all of our participants. These workshops provide our participants with tools to better administer their personal finances; establish clear financial goals; make informed decisions regarding their finances; navigate the financial system and access services they need with greater ease. Since 2007 Qualitas of Life has provided financial education to over 13,478 families, impacting around 60,651 people.
Marcela Orvañanos is a Mexican philanthropist with rich experience in institutional development and capacity building for nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other institutions within civil society.
Marcela has founded organizations in Mexico and New York, such as Qualitas of Life Foundation,with the objective of improving the quality of life of Hispanic families; and Procura, founded in 1995, a training institution in Mexico City that offers courses on institutional development and fundraising for nonprofit organizations.
In our workshops we combine technical expertise with comprehensive advice and hands-on activities to enable participants to consider new possibilities and plan for a better tomorrow. By teaching families through workshops how to open bank accounts, take out loans and protect their finances, they can become more financially stable and strive for a better future.
At Qualitas of Life, we believe that financial education and inclusion are crucial means of stimulating economic development and building prosperous communities.
That is why we work to ensure that the most disadvantaged and marginalized members of the Hispanic community can develop financial literacy to improve their quality of life and achieve financial security and well-being. Our goal is to create a space that allows open discussion about the perceived norms and social barriers that the Hispanic community faces regarding their financial inclusion and advancement and offer alternative solutions. The program is adaptable and tailored to the needs of different groups, as well as easily scalable, as we aim to increase the financial capabilities of our participants. Qualitas of Life provides financial education through an educational model based on the following 5 transversal values:
- Capabilities Approach: Our curriculum has been designed to allow participants to make decisions in consideration of their own personal strengths and social circumstances. Through this approach, we focus our efforts on equipping participants with the insight and the skills to analyze their own situations, enhance their social mobility, overcome the cycle of poverty, and plan toward their financial goals.
- Human Rights and Gender Equity: In our workshops, we strive to ensure that our participants are aware of their rights. We create a favorable environment that empowers them to advocate for the full enjoyment of their rights. Furthermore, it is our belief that leveraging the economic potential of women in our workshops will result in wider social and economic development benefits, not just within the Hispanic community but within the US economy as a whole.
- Civic Engagement: Regardless of one’s immigration status, as individuals living in the US, our participants benefit from government and state-run social and economic services. In order to fully enjoy their civic rights, they also have responsibilities and we encourage our participants to comply with these obligations. It is our aim that participants leave our workshops feeling as though they are an integral part of the larger social fabric of US society and that they deserve to be included.
- Family-Focused: By strengthening the capacity of families to communicate effectively and to consider the potential outcomes of financial decisions together, individuals feel engaged and empowered to collaborate. Through our curriculum, we provide flexible and culturally responsive alternatives for families and link them to the services that suit the particular needs of their own families.
- Community: By creating an accessible network of relevant organizations and institutions that truly understand the context, culture, and needs of our target community we are able to direct our beneficiaries to committed and trusted entities for complimentary services and thus provide a safety net of support for Hispanics living in the United States.
MARIANA DI BELLA
MARIANA DI BELLA
Our facilitators provide the workshops and are essential for our educational program. They are a comprised group of professionals trained yearly by Qualitas of Life on the content of the educational material, as well as on the pedagogical model as it relates to the activities in the workshops, and on specific financial education topics that we cover. Our Facilitators come from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and the USA. All of our facilitators have a strong understanding of the socio-economic challenges of our participants. They come from diverse academic backgrounds, including but not limited to, Social Work, Education, Finance, Non-Profit Management, Communications, and Public Policy.