The A Ganar Alliance (Ganar = “to win” or “to earn” in Spanish) uses soccer and an economic empowerment program to help at-risk youth throughout Latin America and the Caribbean develop market-driven job skills, become entrepreneurs or return to the formal education system.
Programs are currently active in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A Ganar is an initiative of the Partners of the Americas.
To use sport to empower, employ, and promote positive youth engagement in Latin America.
The program provide a comprehensive support system for youth through a combination of futbol-based field activites with classroom activities, vocational training and internships with mentorships and community service. Participants learn how to transform their sport-based skills into market-driven skills and attitudes that can lead to success. Lessons from the field of play are also discussed to address gender, equality, leadership and community service.
The curriculum is implemented in four phases, each of which is paralleled by a service learning project and mentorship:
1) Skills such as communication, teamwork discipline, etc. are imparted through interactive games on the soccer field. These skills can be learned through playing soccer and transferred to the workplace, the classroom, and one’s personal life.
2) Using the life skills training as a foundation, participants enter the vocational and technical training to learn more about their desired trade.
3) Participants apply their knowledge and skills in a practical experience or internship.
4) Upon graduation, participants enter an alumni network to continue receiving support and guidance for entering the job market.
With more than 8,400 who have participated in A Ganar, over 70% graduate from the program; over 65% of the graduates obtain employment, return to school or start a business within one year.