En 2010, Antonio de Jesús Reyes Meza (Toño) vivió en una de las zonas más pobres y peligrosas de Ciudad Juárez, México. Luego encontró A Ganar, el programa de Partners of the Americas que ayuda a los jóvenes de las comunidades más complejas de América Latina y el Caribe a encontrar empleo, emprender un negocio o regresar a la escuela a través del poder del deporte./ In 2010, Antonio de Jesús Reyes Meza (Toño) lived in one of the poorest and most dangerous zones in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Then he found A Ganar, Partners’ program that helps youth in some of the toughest communities in Latin America and the Caribbean find employment or return to school through the power of sport.
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Today, Partners of the Americas commemorates World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) by recognizing the power of adequate skills training to combat youth unemployment. This year, WYSD centers on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all under Sustainable Development Goal 4. At Partners, we work toward this goal by teaching youth marketable skills and emphasizing the importance of education to transform lives around the world.
Partners of the Americas kicked off its fourth annual What Works Conference on December 4. For four days, 115 change-agents gathered from 27 Chapters and eight countries to strengthen inter-institutional partnerships and power greater connectivity across the Partners network.
During the week of October 15, the PartnersCampus Network united forces to end poverty for the International Day to Eradicate Poverty.
When a Santo Domingo soccer team visited Lebanon, Tennessee, they built on a 50-year legacy of youth programs with the Tennessee Partners and Chapters and organizations in Venezuela, Amazonas, Brazil, and most recently, the Dominican Republic.
We are pleased to have expanded our A Ganar program to Colombia this year, in partnership with Colombia’s National Learning Service SENA and Volunteers Colombia. A Ganar is a sport-for-development program that prepares at-risk teens and young adults to find a job or return to school.
The community of São Remo celebrates the donation of a new safe space to play sports. Built by community volunteers and ESPN employees, the new court will be the home of sustainable programs teaching young people employability skills through sports, thanks to our Vencer program along with other local partners.
For quadriplegic individuals, quad rugby is an opportunity to play a sport in which wheelchairs are the norm. Three years ago Los Criollos was formed in Uruguay and this past month they brought an international quad rugby tournament to their country for the first time, with support from Fundación A Ganar.
While Latin America has made remarkable progress in making education accessible for all over the last decade, not many youth are actually graduating high school, and even fewer going on to receive advanced degrees. It is estimated that between now and 2040 nearly 40 percent of the Latin American workforce will lack a high school degree.
Not too long ago, Alex, 7, and Josseline, 6, spent their afternoons working in a field, grazing cows and collecting grass to feed pigs and guinea pigs. One of their most common tasks, as it is for other children in Chordeleg, Azuay, Ecuador, was recollecting toquilla straw. The material is used to create Panamanian hats which are very popular among local workers and tourists.
On June 23, 1972, Title IX was enacted, revolutionizing the world of female athletes. Title IX is an education amendment that ensures that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program.”
Community leaders, residents, government officials and special guests gathered in Morro dos Macacos, Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday to participate in the opening of a new multifunctional sport court dedicated to the local community and its residents. The global project was led by ESPN and community organizations love.fútbol, A Ganar, and INATOS.
“I am not playing with her - she is too small, she can’t run, and doesn’t talk to me!” one EducaFuturo participant shouted. “He only talks to his friends and just because I look different he doesn’t talk to me,” responded another.
Jamie Rocha, Director of Sport Strategy at GlideSlope, served as a mentor during a Partners of the Americas Sport for Community (S4C) program to several Brazilian emerging leaders in the sport for development field. In September 2015 she traveled to Rio de Janeiro through Partners' S4C program to work one on one with emerging leader Gabi Pinheiro and her organization, Luta Pela Paz (Fight for Peace). What follows are some of her reflections from the trip.
The word “miraculous” gets thrown around rather casually in sports, whether it’s for a difficult catch in an NFL end zone, or a dramatic three-point buzzer beater that wins an NBA playoff game. But sometimes real miracles are accomplished through sports, with little fanfare, in out-of-the-way places, and with outsized benefits that should get just as much attention but dont.
Dr. Ana Palla-Kane is a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Palla-Kane works with teachers in the development of strategies to make physical activity programs accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Through Partners’ Sport for Community program, she served as mentor to Dr. Priscila Lopes, an emerging leader in Brazil who works at the Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys.
Arriving in Diamantina, Brazil, was an adventure. The historic city in the state of Minas Gerais is about four and half hours by car from the state capital of Belo Horizonte. Roads with beautiful views and landscapes took us to the heart of Brazilian history, where a gorgeous June sunset greeted us.
When the children of the community of Tiracancha, resting high in the Andes Mountains in Cusco, Peru, received 50 indestructible One World Futbols, they rejoiced at the fact that they will never have to scavenge for another soccer ball again. Games at the school were often cut short when makeshift soccer balls fell flat, and a pump to re-inflate them was a foreign concept.
As executive director of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), Mark Lucas has met scores of people involved in sports—he’s even met Brazilians. “The Brazilian people are so incredibly friendly and insanely passionate about their soccer, I mean football,” he joked.
Camilla Orlando continues to be an active Emerging Leader of Partners of the Americas’ Sport for Community program (S4C). This summer, the Brazilian returned to the United States to work with Olympic gold medalist and member of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team Tiffany Roberts.