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: Founded in 2006, Fundación Tiempo de Juego (TJ) provides young people in Soacha and the surrounding area with positive ways to occupy their free time through extra-curricular activities such as sports, artistic and cultural activities, as well as helps them develop strategies and tools to counteract the negative environment in which they live. Through these programs, TJ promotes open dialogue, peaceful conflict resolution, coexistence, and social inclusion. In light of escalating violence in schools, TJ partners with teachers, administrators and students in local schools to combat intra-school violence. Teachers are trained to adapt TJ’s successful Football for Peace methodology to their classrooms (based on streetfootballworld/FIFA’s football3 methodology), a method based on fair play, dialogue and respect. As a result, youth are demonstrating improved behavior and positive changes in the use of their free time with new expectations of life.
Current Grant: With EMpower’s second grant, TJ will refine its methodology for schools to creatively and effectively address issues of violence, gangs, and drugs, in the classroom and in afterschool activities based on last year’s learnings to share it more widely. They will also strengthen teachers’ skills in applying the methodology and continue training youth monitors to assist teachers in implementing the methodology in the classroom and leading afterschool activities.