Danielle De La Fuente

Danielle De La Fuente

New York, United States

An play enthusiast that approaches education in emergencies from a holistic development lens.

About me

Ms. De La Fuente has vast experience in peacebuilding and diplomatic efforts stemming from her work at the US Department of Defense’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, the British Embassy, and the Embassy of Argentina. Her passion for striving to achieve sustainable peace by addressing issues at their root cause, led her to form the Amal Alliance. Like her work, Danielle’s own background is rich in diversity as she was born in San Diego to immigrant parents from Mexico and Iran, and has lived in 4 different countries. She obtained her BA in International Relations from Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies and MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She is also a certified Kids Yoga Instructor and Mindfulness Educator.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

This community embodies my spirit of collaboration, inclusivity, and creativity . It not only exemplifies innovations, but provides for scalable solutions that create lasting impact by serving communities at large. Oftentimes, wonderful work goes unnoticed. Yet, this platform is committed to shedding light on global innovations that needed a spotlight to shine bright. 

How can education support students to flourish?

Education is critical to human development, because it will foster a greater sense of self-efficacy from an early age. By helping them learn how to manage all aspects of their life, children will flourish and reach their full potential.. Teaching emotional intelligence from a social emotional education standpoint for example, not only plants important life skills and social competencies, but fosters creativity, imagination, and resilience that further enables children to flourish.

What role does innovation play in education change?

The word innovation itself speaks to the necessity of constant evolution: learning, listening, rethinking, and reimagining. As different models are employed and tested, the only way we can truly evolve as humans is if we learn from what has failed, and enhance the solutions that work. Education without innovation is static; learning is a life-long process after all.  

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

  1. Roots of Empathy - Empathy is a critical skill that reduces aggression, promotes tolerance, and spreads more kindness in our communities. This skill is an essential component to our Rainbow of Education, and I can see synergy between our work for future collaboration.
  2. Tiny Trees Preschool - Learning can take place in any space, and this model truly speaks testament to that fact. Oftentimes places we work in are highly impoverished, and forces us to be creative on how to create a child-friendly safe space that is conducive to learning and fosters adequate protection. I found this model inspiring, and would love to learn from them on how best to employ such a model in a crisis context.
  3. Playground Ideas - The power of play transcends borders, cultures, and religions! I believe play is a powerful agent of change that builds bridges of peace even in the most challenging situations. The innovative approach of using recycled local materials as well as child centered design aligns to our ideology. I would love to partner with this group to build on each other’s core competencies and utilize their playgrounds so we can play with purpose with the children!

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

  1. Essence of Learning - This approach offers a child-centered learning approach that integrates educational and psychosocial support. They were selected alongside our Rainbow of Education by UNHCR at the inaugural Global Refugee Forum as “most promising holistic practices.” Through activities such as on drawing, they restore and enhance learning abilities of children in conflict zones. 
  2. Artolution - Artolution seeks to ignite positive social change through collaborative art making within communities. Their projects bring together individuals from all age groups to promote healing and resilience through the power of creativity. We find their work so inspiring that we have partnered with them to form a Coalition that priorities psychosocial Support.
  3. Sports Creative- The Sports Creative uses sport as a tool for social change and cohesion They view sport as a tool that not only connects humanity, but enhances wellbeing and personal development. Their spirit of collaboration is what drew us to invite them to our Coalition to prioritize psychosocial support as a team effort.