Campeones de la Paz: Mexican non-profit TRASO is using sports to promote peace
Transformación Social, A.C., has seen the benefits of sports for social change in some of Mexico City’s most underserved communities
By Carolina Velasquez
Opportunities for kids to connect with each other from 3–6pm play a huge role in their development. When those opportunities aren’t there, the next generation is robbed of a chance to grow, continue learning outside the classroom, and avoid unstructured time that can be dangerous, particularly in underserved communities. And that’s exactly what TRASO is trying to address in Mexico City.
TRASO (Transformación Social) is a Mexican non-profit civil association, founded in February 2013, which aims to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable families in one of the Distrito Federal’s most deprived areas.
As a platform for helping those in need, they have a diverse range of ad hoc programs such as blood donation and volunteer support. In 2016, TRASO enhanced its impact on young people, using boxing combined with education and personal development — project CAPAZ (Campeones de la Paz, or "Peace Champions"), designed as part of its alliance with global sport-for-development organization, Fight for Peace.
Working with, and later being accepted to Fight for Peace’s Global Alumni Programme (GAP) heralded a dramatic change in direction for TRASO, and today their work is very much focused on the power of sports in social change.
CAPAZ is a preventive program against violence and crime. It involves empowering young people (ages 7 to 11) and their families by combining boxing with psychological group therapy, citizenship classes, human rights, and parenting skills training. 52% of CAPAZ participants are in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade—the rest are dispersed across primary school classes at several local schools.
The organization is planning to measure the impact of the sports activities on the kids’ attendance and academic performance.
Asked why she joined CAPAZ, program psychologist Cecilia Gonzalez says, "I decided to participate in the CAPAZ because I believe that as citizens, we must do our part. There is a huge need to educate people in the management of their emotions to be able to make meaningful links with others. My role at CAPAZ is to give the children tools to learn how to express and accept themselves and others."
The UpMetrics Connection
In June 2016, UpMetrics Cofounder Drew Payne visited TRASO and three other Mexican organizations. He had the opportunity to meet CAPAZ parents and kids and was very impressed by the meaningful connections that this program creates amongst the local community.
After his visit, Payne and UpMetrics decided to work toward making the platform fully accessible to Spanish speakers, and, since then, UpMetrics has been working closely with Fight for Peace to introduce the platform to Latin America.
"It's possible to help these programs, and connect with the kids and families in the ring or on the field of play — language barriers don’t matter," Payne says, reflecting on the trip.
CAPAZ is one of the first Latin American organizations to use the UpActive activity management platform, as well as UpMetrics premium data solutions. Since its implementation, they feel that they’ve made a big a step forward as they professionalize and standardize their processes.
Data Makes a Difference
"Implementing UpMetrics facilitates our work and makes us organize our data," says CAPAZ Coordinator, Hector Colin. "It saves us time that can be used in working directly with participants and responding to their needs."
"Being able to have quick access to data is very useful for reporting," Gonzalez says, echoing Colin.
"Observing attendance level of the group and individually helps us to know if we are doing our job properly; it is an alert that gives us a fabulous opportunity to improve. For example when a child misses a lot of sessions, alerts as that something is happening, so we as a team, start to investigate the reasons, identify habits, understand behaviors and focus the therapy.
"UpMetrics has also helped me to improve the reports—now I do them in less time, and with sound and updated data."
Story by Carolina Velasquez. Originally published to the UpMetrics blog, Data for Good, on Medium.