Dare to dream big!
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children play football on a grass patch
Learning significant values like discipline, perseverance, modesty and teamwork, is important for youth to dream big and achieve success.

Ecuador won 3 medals and raised its flag on 3 occasions during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, owing to the discipline, persistence and dedication of 3 young athletes – 28-year-old cyclist Richard Carapaz (gold) and weightlifters Neisi Dajomes (gold) and Tamara Salazar (silver), aged 23 and 24 respectively.

They have shown the world that despite challenging circumstances like the pandemic, dreams come true if you fight for it with effort, passion and determination. With their example, they have become role models for many other youth and children.

Tracing the roots

Richard and Tamara are from a northern province of Ecuador located in the border zone with Colombia, named Carchi. It is the cradle of multiple athletes as well as many young leaders such as Nixon Garcia, Coach of FUDELA NGO, since 2018.

Nixon is from the border parish of Chical and belongs to the Awá ethnic group. He found in FUDELA the opportunity to serve others- first as a beneficiary of A GANAR (a holistic training program for youth), second as a volunteer and then d as a facilitator at FUDELA.

Pursuit of passion

At the age of 23, Nixon has become a referent in his community, especially for children and youth, as well as within his family. He is the youngest of 12 siblings. When teaching values and life skills, he has been able to merge and apply two of his passions: pedagogy and soccer. On the field, what he has learned the most is to share with others.

He is in a constant learning process. In FUDELA, he has participated in two editions of a certification program of German Methodology in grassroot soccer and, has also attended other training workshops addressing diverse topics such as soccer for development.

Nixon’s supervisor, Walter Sarango, tells us that he has been through a significant transformation – from being a shy child with few expectations to becoming a young leader with clear goals. Today, Nix is managing groups of children, teens and youth in many communities of Chical.

He is currently organising summer camps for more than 300 children and young people. He is using soccer, table tennis and other tools in order to reinforce values to promote the right of children to enjoy safe and healthy recreational spaces.

Prioritising life values

In the framework of International Youth Day, he gives us an important message: “Being young is not just being a few years old. It is to keep the illusion alive in the soul and awaken the capacity to dream; it is to live with intensity and full of faith.”

Richard, Neisi, Tamara and Nixon show us that goals can be pursued by applying life values and skills such as respect, discipline, solidarity, modesty, perseverance and teamwork. Let’s make practice an important life lesson in order to make this world a better place.

Dare to dream big!


Carolina Recalde is the Partnerships Coordinator at FUDELA NGO. She has more than 11 years of experience in communications, public relations, and sports for development.

Fudela is the only NGO working in Chical territory with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Communication Coordinator


Latin America and the Caribbean
All sports
Sustainable Development Goals
4 – Quality education
Target Group

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