Sports for Sharing

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Sports for Sharing

Mexic City, MexicoMexico City, Mexico
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Sports for Sharing: integrating civic education into children’s lives in a fun, meaningful way.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Sports for Sharing addresses diverse negative social symptoms that add up to a lack of social cohesion in Mexico. Mexicans are a culturally diverse people but ignorance limits cross-cultural integration. 9 out of 10 indigenous group members feel that their community is discriminated against. General distrust is high among Mexicans; only 2 out of 10 believe it is sensible to trust another. Violence also threatens Mexico, 16th among 115 nations in crime rates, a fact strongly manifested at the domestic level; 75% of juvenile delinquents are victims of family violence. All this calls for an out-of-the-box approach to civic education.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution is integrating civic education into children’s lives through games and sporting activities. Sports for Sharing is driven by three objectives: raising social awareness, heightening cultural appreciation and promoting healthy living. Children take part in a semester-long program that opens their eyes to pressing social problems, strengthens their self-confidence, and allows them to understand the power of solidarity through fun practical simulations. We utilize children’s natural and universal language – playing – to instil critical values and skills that favour positive, healthy interactions between individuals and society. Our recreational methodology is proven effective in helping children grasp the value of harmonious living effortlessly.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

An important component of Sports for Sharing is a treasure-chest exchange conducted every semester among participating schools. Throughout the course of the program, children collectively select objects that are representative of their cultural pride and identity and pack them up in creatively-crafted boxes to be sent to other communities. The only rule is that contents must be hand-made or part of the natural environment. At the end of the semester, boxes are strategically exchanged and each school receives a treasure-chest from a distant, contrasting community. For example we place boxes from rural schools in urban ones, boxes from coastal regions in mountainous areas and a private school might exchange their chest with an indigenous academic shelter. The purpose of this activity is to bridge cultural and social realities. When children come into contact with each other’s treasured objects they awaken their curiosity, respect and appreciation for diversity. One of our most beloved anecdotes is an urban child’s uncontainable excitement with a hand-crafted toy created by a raramuri indigenous child. The first child might have felt indifference or pity, at best, for the second prior to this experience that gave him new appreciation and admiration for another child living in a different socio-cultural context.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Any other program or organization working to address the need for civic education is our ally. Every effort counts towards delivering civic values, empathy and social awareness to the 26 million children enrolled in Mexico’s elementary schools. We believe deeply in our method but recognize value in other approaches. Diseña el Cambio, for example, is a program that gets children involved with their communities by stimulating them to design and launch social initiatives. I sincerely believe that Mexico has more than enough schools and children in need of civic instruction to worry about two programs getting in each other’s way.
About You
Organization:
United Nations Youth Association in Mexico
About You
First Name

Dina

Last Name

Buchbinder

About Your Organization
Organization Name

United Nations Youth Association in Mexico

Organization Country

, DIF, Mexic City

Country where this project is creating social impact

, DIF, Mexico City

Your role in Education

Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Innovation
How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Sports for Sharing: integrating civic education into children’s lives in a fun, meaningful way.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

Our methodology uses children’s natural and universal language – recreation – to help them assimilate values and civic awareness.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Sports for Sharing has empowered 44,571 children, their teachers and parents and helped improve behavioural attitudes in schools. Problems like apathy, bullying and gender exclusion are replaced by a more harmonious coexistence. An elementary-school teacher in Mexico City reported that her students became motivated to produce a talent show, inviting the school community to participate in a safe, respectful environment; she thanked us for introducing values like inclusiveness, tolerance and respect to the school. Stories like this one fuel our program and give true meaning to our impact evaluation that measures improvement in children’s attitudes through entry and exit surveys as well as interviews. This has shown, for instance, a 25% increase in children curious to meet a child from a different cultural background.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

We plan to empower more children yearly. Today we can reach 15,000 children annually within Mexico. With a new operative model we will be able to include over 170,000 children in the program each year; we are investing in new multimedia training tools to lower implementation costs and allow for this to happen. We are also planning to scale our impact internationally before the end of 2012. We are exploring a social franchise model to expand to other countries in North and Latin America with the help of pro-bono consulting.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

A challenge we always face is getting key people in education on our side. Teachers and school administrative staff are sometimes hesitant to get involved with the program because initial concerns are high that participation creates additional workloads. We present Sports for Sharing as a useful and complementary teaching tool and stress the benefits of guiding children’s civic development. We are liaising with important figures in the Mexican Ministry of Education to integrate the program into school curricula to enhance, not compete with, current academic content.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

We plan to implement a new operative model to allow us to reach more children and their communities throughout Mexico.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Complete training strategy design

Task 2

Recruit new local field officers

Task 3

Train new staff

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

One year from now we will be inaugurating our first social franchised program abroad, starting with immigrant communities in the

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Systematize social franchising model

Task 2

Establish relationships with similar organizations in other countries interested in implementing the program

Task 3

Build a strong marketing/communications kit to promote the program

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

I have been passionate about children and recognized their potential for as long as I can remember. I always knew I wanted to be involved with youth but my “Aha!” moment came while participating in the Ship for World Youth, where I was exposed to a myriad of programs from around the world. One spoke to me in particular because of the way it engaged children through their most natural way of learning – playing. This program was Sports-in-a-Box, a Canadian initiative, which I immediately felt compelled to learn more about, adopt and adapt to implement in my native Mexico with the focus of promoting civic education. I realized then and there that children could be taught values in a fun and meaningful way.

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

We are partners with Ashoka, Youth Action Net and INK through the fellowships I have earned as founder and director of Sports for Sharing. These institutions have provided valuable guidance and support throughout our first years of growth. We also work in partnership with the Mexican government through the Ministries of Social Development and Education. Currently we are looking for allies in the private sector because we believe in the power cross-sectoral collaboration.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

Our team is composed of 35 multidisciplinary people based in Mexico City, where our main office is located. Our team members who work in the field travel back and forth constantly to implement the program throughout Mexico. As we scale our impact we will need to find local employees to carry out and supervise projects in each region. We are currently working on identifying these people to train and welcome them into our growing team.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Because we are planning to scale our efforts very soon within Mexico and beyond its borders, we need help to tap into private sector funding and networking support that can open new doors. We are also very eager to share our knowledge with organizations or individuals traveling a similar path.