Through sport activities, and the power of play, children acquire social-emotional skills, learn about civic values like empathy, tolerance, and teamwork, and discover that their communities’ problems, such as poverty or discrimination, are global. The methodology is designed to promote collective action as a means to solving local problems. Students are encouraged to create pragmatic solutions and to implement them in their schools and homes. Empowered children, their families, and teachers all learn that they are part of a larger ecosystem, and that their active participation through local, small actions, can conduce to big changes and have an actual impact in solving global social and environmental problems.
The effort to form better global citizens also expands to other sectors besides the classrooms. A variety of workshops, courses and specialized training are offered to public, private and third sector organizations such as shelters or community-centers seeking to promote systemic, enduring change.
Finalist of Wise Award (2020 and 2016). Recognised as a leading education innovator in the HundrED Global Collection (2019). Emerging Global Leader Award by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (2018). Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2012). Dina Buchbinder is an Ashoka Fellow (2011).
- Since its inception in 2007, over 1.3 million children, teachers, and families have been reached with important results in Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, and most recently New Zealand.
- Quantitative and qualitative evaluations have shown the following positive impact:
- A 56% increase in the practice of gender equality.
- A 17% increase in the interest of learning science.
- A 9% increase in the practice of empathy.
- A 35% increase in the acknowledgement of child participations rights.
- A 26% increase in the acknowledgement of basic concepts of digital citizenship.
- Specifically, in Mexico there was an increase of 90% in the knowledge of global challenges and the responsibility children feel to solve those (2011). In Hidalgo, Mexico, school violence decreased 35% (2014). In Guatemala, there was an increased practice of civic values of 24 % (2014).
- The practice of empathy increased 40% in Dominican Republic (2015).
- In Argentina the gender equality practice increased 28% (2015).
- Teachers consider the program provided them with skills and tools to plan and structure their classes.
- Teachers identified, after one and a half years later of an intervention, that the reflective capacity of girls and boys improved.
Programs are developed through a creative, dynamic, participative methodology which consists of the following three moments:
- Play. Active learning through play transforms the educational experiences while strengthening cognitive, motor, social and emotional development.
- Reflect. Participants analyse, exchange ideas and opinions, learn to listen, dialogue, and resolve conflicts, and give meaning to the activities carried out during the sessions.
- Act. Active participation is encouraged so participants see themselves as agents of change, able to work as part of a team, and to implement local actions to transform their environment.
Six programs are offered for children aged 6-13 in public and private educational spaces:
- Sport: ludic sessions create hypothetical situations based on real-life problems.
- Science: scientific skills such as observation, prediction and classification are linked with solutions to global challenges. Then, projects to contribute to the community’s well-being are proposed, designed, and developed.
- Art: through a theatrical methodology and the creation of projects, teenagers raise their awareness on the impact caused by current problems such as low expectations for the future, violence, or youth work.
- Initiatives: participants develop projects to promote democratic and responsible participation, learning to value their opinions, and voices while participating in a democratic process for the first time.
- Digital citizenship: face-to-face and virtual activities invite students to reflect on their digital rights and acquire digital skills.
- Finance: participants develop financial and economic skills such as responsible decision making, based on the premise “we are citizens first and then consumers”, to achieve a sustainable way of living.