Currently, Aros de Esperanza has eleven programmes:
1. Basketball Training Sessions;
2. Social Activities;
3. League Matches;
4. Family Days;
5. House Visits;
6. Parents Meetings/Committees;
7. Study Fund;
8. Tutoring School Subjects;
9. Reward School Performances;
10. Prevention workshops;
11. English lessons.
All programmes are offered completely for free.
New programme to be implemented by the end of 2014:
12. Talent Team.
New programme to be implemented in 2015:
13. Waffle shop "Wafles de Esperanza".
Our programme "Basketball training sessions" is the core of our social basketball project, from which all our other social programmes branch off. See the photo below.
1. Basketball Training Sessions: each girl in our project participates two times a week in the training sessions. Each training session lasts 120 minutes.
Training session players neighbourhood Efe Gómez given by coach Claudia
Training session players neighbourhood Popular 1 given by coach Amanda
Players neighbourhood Blanquizal together with coach Karina (centre) and assistant Jesica (left, with cap)
Players neighbourhood Efe Gómez
2. Social Activities: Instead of the basketball training sessions we organise at least once per month in each neighbourhood where we work a nice social activity, such as handcraft classes, a trip to a public park with waterfalls or a cosy gathering with a healthy snack and drink. Regarding special days such as Mother's Day or Christmas for example we always let our players make congratulations cards and Christmas decorations for their families.
Players neighbourhood Hato Viejo with their self-made Christmas drawings
Players neighbourhood 8 de Marzo in waterfalls
Players neighbourhood El Jardín with their fruit drinks (with ice-cream) during celebration International Day of the Woman 2012
3. League Matches: In May 2010 Aros de Esperanza has started its own internal basketball league, called “La Liga de Esperanza”, the League of Hope. Each team plays a minimum of two league matches per month.
Players neighbourhoods Blanquizal and Hato Viejo at the end of their league encounter in Blanquizal
League match Efe Gómez vs. Popular 1 at basketball field in neighbourhood Efe Gómez
League match 8 de Marzo vs. Efe Gómez at basketball field neighbourhood 8 de Marzo
The league matches are a great incentive for the players to behave themselves exemplary, because only players with good behaviour and dedication at school can participate in the matches.
Players neighbourhood Blanquizal till 14 years
Players neighbourhood Efe Gómez till 12 years
Our coaches are really doing a fantastic job with all the players. Where players at the beginning of the project even refused to socially interact with their own team members, you now see that the players of all the neighbourhoods interact in a very social and amicable way with each other during the league matches. En where before many players were very aggressive amongst each other, they now behave themselves in a very calm and respectful manner towards both opponents as referees.
Players neighbourhood Blanquizal
Every league day it is again magnificent to see that our players enjoy themselves so much through our own internal basketball league!
Players neighbourhood Popular 1
4. Family Days: every three months Aros de Esperanza invites her players and their families to recreational parks with nice swimming pools, water slides and many other attractions. Most players almost never get the opportunity to visit a recreational park due to the poor financial situation of their families, so the Family Days give the girls many opportunities to enjoy pleasant day trips to beautiful parks accompanied by their parents and brothers and sisters.
Recreational park Ditaires, situated 15 minutes outside Medellín
Our players in swimming pool recreational park Juan Pablo Segundo on December 14, 2011
Players and their brothers in the merry go round of recreational park Comfama La Estrella
5. House Visits: a very important aspect of the project is the monthly house visits. During these visits the coaches of Aros de Esperanza meet with the parents to discuss the progress of their daughters’ participation, including their social behaviour and school performance.
Guido together with family of player Dayena (left in the photo) - neighbourhood Efe Gómez
Family players Marcela (standing on the left) and Joena (standing on the right) - neighbourhood Hato Viejo
6. Parents meetings & committees: each year Aros de Esperanza holds parents meetings in the neighbourhoods where she is working. At these meetings we discuss amongst others possible changes in our project regulations to which the players have to comply and ideas of parents to improve our project.
Parents meeting in neighbourhood Hato Viejo
Parents meeting in neighbourhood San Pedro
In each neighbourhood Aros de Esperanza has also founded parent committees which help us with the monitoring of the progress of our programmes and of the progress in behaviour of the players.
Inscription parents for the parent committee neighbourhood Efe Gómez
7. Study Fund: in June 2011 Aros de Esperanza has set-up a Study Fund for players whom due to poverty or difficult living condition are in danger to drop out of school of already dropped out. Our project namely has the rule that a player who wants to participate in the basketball programme has the obligation to go to school. Due to a lack of financial means or difficult home situation sometimes a player is not able to go to school, and finds herself in the frequent situation of periods going to school and then periods of not going to school.
Currently 15 players form part of our Study Fund. Aros de Esperanza supports these players through paying all their study costs, such as school uniforms, possible college fees, note-books and pencils, school lunch and travel costs to school.
Please see below several photos of players (together with our Colombian project coordinator Andrea) whom form part of our Study Fund with their new school uniforms bought by us.
Players Luisa (right) and Nataly, neighbourhood 8 de Marzo
Player Estefanía, neighbourhood San Pedro
Players Wendy (left) and Sara, neighbourhood Blanquizal
Players Sara (left) and Cruz, neighbourhood Efe Gómez
8. Tutoring School Subjects: in July 2011 has started a Tutoring Pilot Project. Our player Leidy Martinez, the first player whom entered our Study Fund, namely had not attended school for almost a year due to her difficult home situation. Thanks to the support of our study fund, Leidy now again goes to school.
Because Leidy had not attended school for such a long time, she was laying behind quite a lot in comparison with her peers. In order to recover this gap we have arranged tutoring classes for Leidy. Since the end of July, Leidy receives three times a week tutoring from our basketball assistant Jesica.
Jesica (left) and Leidy together during a tutoring class
At the end of 2103 we have extensively expanded our tutoring programme! Please see the videos and photos below:
9. Reward school performances: every year in December we give all our players nice presents who passed their school year as reward for their good school performances. In Colombia namely the school year runs from February till November.
Players neighbourhood 8 de Marzo with their presents - December 2011
The gifts for the players we always hand-out on the basis of the best school results. The player with the best school report may choose as first from the many available presents. Then the player with the second best report. And so on.
Player Laura (neighbourhood Blanquizal), here together on the photo with our coordinator Andrea, had the best school report of our players in Blanquizal and chose the basketball
The hand-out of presents as a reward for good school performances is really a very effective incentive for the players to keep doing their utmost best at school. Namely the entire year our players were always asking us what they might get from us in case they would pass their school year.
Players neighbourhood Hato Viejo & their presents (2011)
Some of our neighbourhoods are very poor neighbourhoods. In these neighbourhoods we always try to give our players there an extra nice reward such as for example a pair of new sports shoes.
Hand-over of sports shoes to player Gloria, neighbourhood 8 de Marzo
As you can imagine our players are always extremely happy with their presents. Most of them live in great poverty, so the presents are almost certainly as well their Christmas presents because unfortunately their families cannot afford to buy such presents.
Players neighbourhood Blanquizal & their presents
10. Prevention workshops: to be updated soon.
11. English lessons:
In order to enhance the chances of obtaining a job for the participating girls in our project, at the end of 2013 we have started with giving English lessons to them. Namely hardly any Colombian person speaks English in Medellín. However, many Colombian companies are doing more and more business with North America due to a new agreement between Colombia and the United States of America. Also tourism is growing very fast in Colombia. So there currently is a very strong need to staff who speaks English, which currently is very hard to find.
The first try-outs of our English lessons at the end of 2013 were a great success, see also the 2 video-links below, as well as several photos:
In February 2014 we have determined our official teaching method regarding our programme "English Lessons". From April 2014 onwards we will give our English lessons based on a method developed by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). This method consists of no less than 96 lessons (Units) of each 20 page, including many listening and speaking exercises. This means that we can offer all the participating girls in our project an English course of over 3 years!
12. Talent Team (to be implemented by the end of 2014):
At the end of 2014 Foundation Aros de Esperanza wants to form her own talent team to start competing in national basketball tournaments with the aim to give the girls in her project this way a chance of being scouted by Colombian educational institutions or universities, and thus are offered a free scholarship if they play for their basketball team. For instance, our Colombian coordinator was allowed to study completely for free at a university in Medellín because she agreed to play for their basketball team. However, currently we are still lacking funds to set-up our own talent team.
13. Waffle shop "Wafles de Esperanza" (to be implemented in 2015):
As new programme to be implemented in 2015, Foundation Aros de Esperanza wants to start-up an own small business in which the participating girls of the project could choose to work on a part-time basis, and with their salary then could pay for the costs of a college or university education. As business to set-up our foundation is thinking of a waffle shop, named “Wafles de Esperanza” (‘Waffles of Hope’), to make and sell Belgium waffles. In Medellín the people namely do not know Belgium waffles, as they not sold there.
In case our waffle shop would become successful, then we could finance other programmes of our project with the possible profits, and thus become less dependent on donations. We also could enhance the exposure of Aros de Esperanza via the waffle shop. Amongst others we could make a connection to our project and name of our foundation by naming our waffle shop "Wafles de Esperanza". Also we could hand-out in our waffle shop flyers and brochures of our project, as well as hang up photos and posters of our project in the shop.