Sanyi lives in a small community in Esmeraldas in Ecuador – a coastal region that has been facing a drastic increase of violence in the past years. Passionate about football since her childhood, Sanyi strongly believes it gives her an important tool in creating safe spaces for children and keeping them away from the criminal groups.

My Story

“My name is Sanyi, I am from a small community in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. When I grew up as a child, I had some problems with my family because they did not want me to play football. I always got comments about how my body is transforming because of football. Even though I did not have their support I continued playing. I am now studying to become a sports teacher. I love to educate and create safe spaces for children just as football has been a safe space for me as a child.

Football is a chance for me to change the world. The violence in Esmeraldas has increased over the last years. The gangs are increasing and recruiting little children, so I want to provide the children with safe spaces through football in order to prevent them from joining these gangs. But it has been really tough and complicated to do this, because we have not enough support in my community. And there are also many other communities around where I live that are hard to reach. And if we have no economic resources or transportation to reach them it becomes very hard to go there. But we are trying our best. In my case, everything I do is voluntarily, but I do it because I love it.

Participating in the Young Coach Education means growth for me. I learned a lot: how to create and implement educational games, be more creative, and much more. I can take a lot of these games back to my community. However, the most important learning for me was the discussion rounds after an educational game in order for the children to learn. I think this is very important.

The Young Coach Education was one of the best experiences I ever had because the instructors from the clubs really knew how to pass on their knowledge to us in a good way. I think this education will trigger a big chain reaction now, because we Young Coaches can pass on the knowledge from the instructors to Peer Young Coaches and have an impact on many children. I believe this will make a real change in our communities.”

Quick Facts
  • Young Coach Education in Ecuador (2023/2024)
  • GAD Tonchique
  • Ecuadorian
  • 1 Peer Young Coach
  • 20 Benefitting Children