Location and general information
Jocotenango is an area of Guatemala that suffers from grinding poverty, gang crime, drug/alcohol abuse and domestic/sexual violence. Education for the Children (EFTC) runs a School of Hope in the area which is attended by more than 650 children. It also operates a successful four-point integrated plan helping people to escape poverty, which combines education, nutrition, health care and social support.
EFTC’s Extra Time project aims to tackle the issue of the ‘dead zone’ – the period between school ending and parents returning from work (which is often late in the evening). EFTC plans to use sport as a solution to this problem, seeking to combat the lifelong implications of children falling into gang crime, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour at a young age. In view of the fact that Guatemala has a three-month rainy season, EFTC will build an all-weather pitch with a roof and a drainage system to allow children to use the site all year round. This new facility will also be used for various community projects, such as workshops for children and parents, medical check‑ups and an empowerment project for local girls. For the School of Hope, sport is much more than just a game – it is a game changer.
Sport as a solution to the ‘dead zone’
The Extra Time project will use access to sport as a solution to the problem of the ‘dead zone’. The organisation of after-school sports clubs and community workshops will provide significant opportunities for personal development and the protection of children’s rights.
Access to life skills through sport
Football clubs – and sports clubs in general – will not only serve as an alternative activity; they will also play a pivotal role in children’s development.
The Extra Time project will also organise tournaments with a view to bridging gaps between local communities.
A school of football fans
At present, the School of Hope is full of football fans with no real way of enjoying the game. EFTC aims to harness their passion for football and use it to tackle the issue of the ‘dead zone’, helping them to achieve long-term success by escaping poverty.
- To tackle the ‘dead zone’ and give children living in poverty an alternative to hanging around on the streets after school
- To offer positive alternative activities, steering children away from crime, alcohol/drug abuse and unprotected/underage sex
- To increase participation in sport among children with no current access to facilities, coaching or equipment
- To empower girls through sport, self-defence classes and workshops
- To provide the local community with a safe venue for workshops
- To bridge gaps between communities through inter-school football tournaments
- 3,000 local people with access to sport and community workshops that are not currently available to them
- Safer, healthier and more academically engaged children
- Children with less time and inclination to engage in gang crime, alcohol/drug abuse or unprotected sex after school
- Children who are well educated on the subjects of sex, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual abuse
- A reduction in the number of children at the School of Hope who are involved in gang crime
- Better future prospects for children as a result of essential life skills taught through sporting activities
- A reduction in the number of cases of substance abuse at the School of Hope
- A reduction in the number of teenage pregnancies at the School of Hope (expected to fall from ten to five by the end of the first year)
- More confident girls who are actively engaged in higher education and making positive choices regarding their future
- Greater engagement in the local community through community workshops
- Better networking with schools in surrounding communities through tournament events