By Abraham Marca, ChildFund Bolivia
In ChildFund Bolivia, sports are used as a tool to teach children discipline, boost their self-confidence and promote integration. These days, one game in particular seems to be on everyone’s mind — soccer.
When Davide Tibaldi, a well-known trainer at the Italian Juventus Soccer School, visited one of our local partner organizations in Oruro, Bolivia, he created quite the buzz. He shared his coaching experiences with local trainers and spent time teaching soccer techniques to children enrolled in the Niño Quirquincho Feliz Project.
“Bolivia is a country with great human value,” Tibaldi says. “Children are educated, respectful, and they want to learn. They show great enthusiasm towards sports, and that’s a strength we must work with.”
Tibaldi left Bolivia with a strong belief that children have enormous potential when given access to physical, team activities such as sports. He sees soccer as a huge motivator and promised to send study materials about the game to both children and their teachers. His contribution will mean so much to the students who participate in the program.
“I never thought this could happen to me,” says Alex, 17. “He is the coach that works with champions! It makes me feel important, respected and linked to my family. They all like soccer. We all play at home, even my mom!”
Tibaldi’s workshop taught Ruben, 13, new tactics to use in the neighborhood league he plays in after school. For Ruben, the league is a fun and positive way to spend his free time. “If you want to play soccer you must have a healthy body,” he says. “Soccer is healthy and fun and much better than hanging out with gangs or learning bad habits.”
by Monica Planas, Regional Communications Manager, Americas
Who will win? Will it be Netherlands…will it be Spain? We have no crystal ball, but what we can tell you is that ChildFund Bolivia has soccer champions of its own!
For 46 years, the Niño Quirquincho Feliz Project in Bolivia has been helping children age 6 and older develop their soccer skills while also helping them reach their hopes and dreams.
Nationally recognized for preparing outstanding athletes, the Niño Quirquincho Feliz Project has won numerous championships along the years and supported kids with trainings, techniques and team-building activities.
Having a safe place to play and develop skills has become even more critical today. Because many families in Bolivia have extreme difficulty accessing basic necessities, ChildFund Bolivia works to strategically identify areas where deprived, excluded and vulnerable children live. Our goal is to create centers to support children and put them on a healthy pathway.
Older children in Bolivia often face the hard reality of staying at home with their young siblings while both parents go to work. Because this situation poses risks to children, ChildFund Bolivia works hard to identify these youth and enroll them in ChildFund programs so that they may have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and become role models for other children and youth.
ChildFund offers healthy child development monitoring, after-school guidance sessions to support students of all ages with their homework, creative individual and group activities and health/security campaigns.
The Niño Quirquincho Feliz Project helps not only children and youth but also their families. Mothers receive training on early childhood development and nutrition to help guide them through the process of bringing up a healthy child.
Niño Quirquincho Feliz Project has one doctor, a dentist and a small staff of teachers and coaches. Together, they help hundreds of children stay off the streets and away from bad influences. The center has fun spaces to encourage children to develop their creativity, improve their skills and offers soccer lovers the opportunity to practice, practice, practice!
Who knows? The next World Cup champion may be a child helped by your support.