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.
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
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.