Fundación Tiempo de Juego
Context: Soacha is located on the outskirts of Bogotá and has some of the highest rates of inequality and marginalization in the country, many inhabitants being displaced migrants living in extreme poverty. Only 42% have completed primary education while 34% have completed secondary education. The strong presence of criminal groups and the lack of opportunities in Soacha make it a particularly difficult environment for young people, leading to feelings of frustration and hopelessness. Gangs, drug traffickers and guerrilla groups have a growing presence in Soacha’s schools and intra-school violence is increasingly common. Neither teachers nor students know how to address the violence that is negatively affecting students’ ability to learn at school.
Organization: Tiempo de Juego (TJ) was founded in 2006 by Andrés Wiesner while doing his thesis in journalism, documenting the dire situation in Soacha (outside Bogota), particularly the phenomenon of gangs. TJ provides young people in Soacha and the surrounding area with positive ways to occupy their free time, as well as tools to counteract the negative environment in which they live. TJ works with young people from vulnerable communities to develop strategies that benefit them and build community capacity. The organization uses the Soccer for Hope methodology, which it has been replicated in other sports such as basketball, table tennis, and baseball, in artistic and cultural activities and more recently, in schools. Through these programs, TJ promotes open dialogue, peaceful conflict resolution, coexistence, and social inclusion, combating the presence of gangs, drug traffickers and guerrilla groups in schools, and the resulting intra-school violence. TJ also offers youth ages 16-19 the opportunity to participate in the GOL program, which prepares them for work and provides vocational training in areas such as technology, art, baking, and film
Current Grant: EMpower’s Third grant to Tiempo de Juego strengthens the application of TJ’s Soccer for Hope methodology within schools (in the classroom, at recess) and implement new educational strategies with teachers, parents, and students.