A Ganar: Creating a Winning Workforce Via Sport
Participation in sports can be more than a fun way for young people to keep active and busy. Done properly, playing on a team can be a transformative experience, instilling cooperation, full effort, devotion to a cause, and leadership skills.
A Ganar--Spanish for “to win” and "to earn"--is a youth workforce development program that teaches values and employability skills through sports to transform the lives of vulnerable youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. Program participants are youth aged 16-24 from high-risk areas, many of whom have lost family members to violence.
The program is built on the teaching of six core values: respect, teamwork, discipline, communication, focus on results, and continual self-improvement. Participants learn about and integrate the values initially through structured sport activities, then participate in vocational training and work experience internships with ongoing follow-up activities that help reinforce the core values. A Ganar has trained more than 11,000 youth in 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries.
While the A Ganar program does not explicitly address love and forgiveness, these values have been identified by participating youth as being critical in their efforts to transform their lives. With support from the Fetzer Institute, A Ganar organizers will expand the program’s focus by adding reflection, discussion, and activities about love and forgiveness to each of the curriculum’s core values.
The project will include developing a sport-based methodology for working with young people on topics of love and forgiveness, updating the written materials used in the program, and training organizations to implement new curriculum components.
Outcomes will be shared through youth forums and staff networking across Latin America and the Caribbean. The revised program will begin in Jamaica with plans to expand to additional countries over time.
Participants will reflect on and discuss their own experiences—including in sports and in everyday life—and explore ways to enhance their own awareness of and actions related to love and forgiveness.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Sport and Embodied Spiritual Practice.