Football to ward off violence: LaLiga Project, Values and Opportunity

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The alliance between FUNDACIÓN LaLiga and the Government of El Salvador was born with the aim of offering children and young people from all over the country the possibility to get to know and experience football, not only as a sport, but as a philosophy through which to learn fundamental skills such as teamwork, understanding and empathy, rather than being dragged into a world that presents crime to them as, in many cases, their only path as they grow up.

Thus began the LaLiga, Values and Opportunity project, which includes nearly 300 trainers and more than 26,000 children, and with which local authorities also collaborate.

To date, in collaboration with the National Sports Institute of El Salvador (INDES), 59 socio-sports schools have been set up in which young people are not only educated in those values that will enrich their lives and future relationships, such as fellowship, respect and tolerance; but they also work to learn and acquire knowledge about the sport from its foundations.

There are many voices, such as that of Álvaro Argueta, head of the Opportunity department of the National Sports Institute of El Salvador, highlighting the importance and unique capacity of football to bring peace to the youth of a country where exposure to street crime is part of their day-to-day lives. Offering this sanctuary to children, where they can self-realise while learning and having fun, is the highest priority of the project. “In the same academy there were people related to three gangs in contention. We succeeded in holding sporting events between communities in neutral places and mediating in the construction of a social fabric. The project makes sense when it manages to create a sense of belonging for all communities“, Álvaro explains.

Source: El País