Revolucionando la educación, jugando | Dina Buchbinder | TEDxPuraVidaJoven


Translator: Melissa Monge
Reviewer: Camille Martínez How are you? Audience: Fine! Awesome! Do you guys know the game
“Rock, paper, scissors?” Audience: Yes! Please turn to the person next to you, and play two out of three. (Audience chatter) OK. We are currently facing many challenges. I can think of three examples. Mexico, my country, holds last place for quality of education, according to the OECD. In the last 30 years,
child obesity has doubled, which constitutes an extremely serious
public health problem throughout the world. Here in Costa Rica, one of the main causes
of suicide among adolescents is violence and bullying at school. The game we just played,
“Rock, paper, scissors,” is very simple. Outwardly nothing sophisticated, but I saw the excitement on your faces. I listened to your wonderful laughs, I saw how you connected with each other, and how now you even
connect better with me. And this is just one
of the powers of games. This is why it is an extraordinary tool for educating, instructing children. Who hasn’t heard the phrase
“Education is the most important thing”? And that’s because education
is indeed the most important thing. But the key question is:
what type of education? Imagine an education comprised of fun games
with meaningful content, that invite us to reflect and practice values such as empathy,
fair play and teamwork. Now, imagine that those same games
carry us like surfers on a wave to take action in tackling
the world’s most important challenges, like preventing disease, conserving water, and becoming local change agents
in our communities. Finally, imagine if through these games, girls and boys in Costa Rica
could address the problems of violence and school bullying. What would happen if these games
became part of the official curriculum of every elementary school in the world? My message today is that
we can revolutionize education through the power of sports and games, to form better people,
better citizens from childhood. Based on that belief,
seven and a half years ago, we founded this organization,
Sports for Sharing. Broadly speaking, our approach
has two main components: first; we learn about values, civic values related to global challenges, which inspire girls and boys to act. We then empower kids to act
on their inspiration, with the help of project management tools. The results are children like Ramón, whom I’ll tell you about in just a bit. How do we do it? By involving the entire community. Yes, we work with moms and dads, with teachers and with boys and girls. We also invite recent university graduates who want to give back
to their communities. We give them their first job, and they are the ones
who work with the teachers and support them
throughout the school year. Here’s an example of the games
we play in Sports for Sharing: You’ve all played basketball
or seen it played. We play “adapted basketball.” What is “adapted basketball”? There are two teams. One team plays with only one foot
and the other with only one hand. Halfway through the game,
the teams switch roles. When the game is over, we form a reflection circle
typical of Sports for Sharing, where we invite girls and boys to tell us what they thought, how they felt; if they can identify whether it’s
something they’ve felt before, feeling excluded or different; if they were allowed to play,
despite not having a foot or a hand, and what would have happened if they hadn’t been allowed
to play because of it? So we reflect on what
they can do starting today to include everyone
in their games and activities. We also do a comparison between the right to play
and the right to education. Can you believe that in a school in one of the most
violent areas in Mexico City, we met Karim, a 10-year-old boy, who is probably the shiest boy
I’ve ever met in my life? Yet after the program, Karim decided to transform into something that already lived
inside him: a superhero. Karim personifies this superhero. He decided that his main
focus was recycling, and he teaches the younger kids
at his school how to recycle and how to become involved
in recycling activities. This is his superhero for life. The same thing happened
in a rural setting, because games are universal, with little Ramón,
whom I mentioned before. Ramón, from his indigenous community
of Tlacoachistlahuaca, Guerrero, decided that, just like Karim, he’s interested in recycling
and started his campaign. Here you can see, he can’t carry
even one more piece of trash. And now I want to share with you briefly, in María’s own words, her reflections on the program. Video: (María) “I think I have
an important role in my city, because of gender equality
we are all equal, boys and girls, and we can all participate.” Dina Buchbinder: María says,
“I learned about gender equality, that we are all equal
and that we can all participate.” We can take this series of reflections, and we can transmit them
and transform them into actions through the initiatives
that girls and boys do. For example, in one community, they made up a rap song
against bullying and violence. Here they are in a local newspaper,
very proud of their rap. And there is also
an endless amount of initiatives that girls and boys do as change agents. Here you can get a taste
of various initiatives: [Recycling Contest “Oil Expropriation”] [Initiatives Showcase] [Newspaper for the Environment] [Gender Equality Project] [Anti-Bullying Project] [Campaign for the Environment] [Planting Trees] [Puppets for Respect
“José W. Rangel Esparza”] [Dioramas for the Environment] DB: In the seven years
we’ve been in operation, we’ve been able to work
with more than 310,000 people including moms and dads,
girls and boys, and teachers. Of the 3,800 teachers we’ve trained, 86 percent have reported
a noticeable decrease in violence among their students. And 56 percent have told us that attendance rates
in their schools have increased. And this is no surprise, because if girls and boys
feel happier and safer, they want to go to school. This has enabled us to share
our program with other countries. We are currently in the United States,
Guatemala and Argentina. And you know what?
This is only the beginning. In order to address
our planet’s biggest challenges over the next few decades, the heart of the solution must be
in meaningful and fun education for the youngest members of our society. What I admire most about Costa Rica,
even more than its natural beauty, are its people, its social entrepreneurs
and super-cool initiatives. (Laughter) I can think of three examples: Bellelli Educación, Ideas en Acción
and Fundación Quirós Tanzi. There is a lot to do. We at Sports for Sharing
want to partner with Costa Rica’s talent and bring our model here to share it
with all the communities, and we need your help to do it. It’s in your hands for girls and boys like Karim,
María and Ramón to become change agents all over the world and here in Costa Rica,
the land of Pura Vida. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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