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COVID-19 has taught us that reshaping sports and development is possible through innovation, teamwork, assertive communication, clear purposes and strategic partnerships.

Reshaping sport and development is about giving life to new dreams, designing and implementing new strategies, taking steps and creating new ways to achieve gender equality, diversity, peace, and inclusion.

Fudela, an Ecuadorian non-profit organization, uses sport to transform lives and promote holistic development in people and communities.

COVID-19 taught us that reshaping sports and development is possible through innovation, teamwork, assertive communication, clear purposes and strategic partnerships.

Fudela Play was born as an initiative to promote healthy habits and recreational activities at home through a pool of videos made by different Fudela members and beneficiaries and then shared on the institution’s website, social media, and WhatsApp groups. With this material, beneficiaries and their families had the opportunity to utilise their time wisely, reinforce values and share joyful moments together.

Another important step that we have taken is to strengthen our existing partnerships and to create new ones. Last year, we were able to start our membership with the global network Coaches Across Continents, which uses the purposeful play to promote healthy recreation out of the classroom and to raise awareness about human rights’ application within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This alliance has allowed us to have new insights and tools to reinforce our work and to use sports taking into account new perspectives.

Likewise, since 2018 we have been implementing the campaign Let’s Change the Game, in partnership with the private insurance company Chubb Ecuador, which aims to work closely with female professional soccer players from different clubs strengthening their soft skills, values, mental health, motivation and leadership capacities.

“Being a motivation and empowerment coach for some soccer teams of the women's Super League in Ecuador since 2018 has left me with different experiences that further enhance my interest in continuing to carry out these workshops that leave their mark on different areas inside and outside the field. In the end, they go hand in hand with the life stories of the players, where more than getting a salary or a scholarship, their resilient structure of transformation is exalted, says Marilay Marquez, Fudela’s Venezuelan Coach.

Furthermore, since October 2021, we have been part of a regional initiative called Somos Equidad (We are Equity) which has been led by Fundacion Seleccion Colombia, supported by Common Goal and other actors. The purpose of the initiative is to promote gender equality through soccer and other tools at three levels:

  1. Within the organization
  2. At the stands (work with coaches)
  3. On the field (work with beneficiaries)

Besides the different workshops that a group of coaches and staff have received and been able to replicate with more than 180 kids and teenagers, we are in the process of designing a strong plan with actions and steps we want to take in the short, medium, and long term to mainstream gender equality.

For Corayma Intriago, one of our Ecuadorian coaches, teaching through sports is fundamental for development and gender equality. As she states: I use sport, particularly soccer, to teach children and young people about the importance of women, that every contribution is important, that every victory matters, that it is necessary to create safe spaces for girls, strengthening values ​​and respect for them. Seeing the change in their lives fills your soul.”

In all Fudela’s programmes and projects, we promote an active and equal participation of both women and men, as well as their integration. We value and take into consideration their different perspectives, stories, ideas, insights and contributions.

Alex Fonseca, one of our male Ecuadorian leader coaches, also shared with us his experience with soccer as a tool for social transformation: “It is incredible to see how through football we can work towards inclusion and gender equality in marginalised groups. Change can be achieved in each person who is part of the processes. The satisfaction and joy that it gives me when I see a positive change is priceless. The joy of knowing that I am leaving positive seeds in each person is the fuel with which I move, and it drives me to continue to transform lives together.”

This becomes our main purpose, to transform lives. We want to keep providing opportunities of educational, social and economic inclusion to kids, teens, youths, adults and families, creating meaningful experiences and lasting impact through sports and other innovative tools.

There is still much to be done to attain gender equality, inclusion, peace, as well as to reshape sports and development. It is a shared responsibility to shorten the existing gaps, acknowledging and including all the different stakeholders as duty-bearers and right-holders. Partnerships are key in solving this challenge and genuine service needs to be the driver of this path.

______________________________________________________________________________

Carolina Recalde is the Projects and Partnerships Coordinator at Fudela.

Authors

Communication Coordinator

Tags

Country
Ecuador
Region
Latin America and the Caribbean
Sport
Football (Soccer)
Sustainable Development Goals
17 - Partnership for the goals
5 - Gender equality
Themes
Target Group
Policymakers
Girls and women

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