The challenge of rebuilding a country with a Frisbee

in #education4 years ago

The situation in Venezuela forced me to emigrate 6 months ago; Now I live in Colombia and from here, although it sounds complicated, I continue doing something to rebuild my country, and I could say that to the world, through the Ultimate Frisbee.

❤️ Flying Disc Sport is a discipline based on the Game Spirit, a philosophy that promotes values.

In essence all Venezuelan migrants have something in common: the objective that motivates us to leave the country is to achieve a better quality of life; but from there all the stories are different. My story, for example, takes place in Cucuta, the border city, a mandatory step for all those who want to flee from Venezuela by land, and at the same time a synonym for freedom.

After observing all the possible faces that migration has, I have the certainty that I am a lucky one, because although in these 6 months the experiences have not been easy, the moments of learning and happiness that I can rescue are greater.

I left Venezuela chasing a frisbee, and it is that flying object that has traced my path since I arrived in Colombia; In this step I found a community of friends who support me, a team that is helping me to evolve as an athlete, and most importantly: the opportunity to transform the world positively through the album. I know it seems contradictory that I, another immigrant, intends to rebuild the world when I first need to "rebuild my life"; but yes... the passion for what I do gives me that power.

🔥 The light of the Torches

Before migrating to Colombia I made my last social work in Venezuela, we sowed Ultimate Frisbee in a rural area of Anzoategui state Thanks to the support of @dontstopmenow, @engelmiranda, @anomadsoul, @carlgnash, @acidyo, and the entire Steemit community, we made a donation and taught the sport of the flying disc to a low-income school. Without a doubt it was the best way to say goodbye to my country momentarily: promoting in Venezuelan children the hope that they can fly as high and as far like a frisbee.

That was the last contact with the Ultimate Frisbee that I had there; For several years the practice of sport began to diminish due to the exodus, which took most of the players; which translated into fewer competitions because there were fewer teams because they had fewer athletes. Honestly it was the most frustrating stage of my life, to see how such a promising community was falling apart, to see how the talent of my land was running away.

But as soon as I arrived in Cucuta I saw the light. The Ultimate Frisbee is in an important projection phase where the clubs of the city have multiplied, and the training schools, like the Antorchas Sport Club, the project that is helping me to rebuild my life and through which I am helping to rebuild my country. They are a team made up of approximately 40 children between the ages of 5 and 17, led by my friend Juan David Arboleda, who has been in charge of promoting the discipline of the flying disc for years, even thanks to him several of them were formed. the clubs that currently exist in this region.

🏃🏽 🏃🏽‍♀️The trainings take place four days a week, in the morning and in the afternoon, so that all children have the opportunity to attend.

Since January of this year I officially assumed the role of Trainer of Antorchas, with the support of @engelmiranda as a monitor; I came to believe that it was a team of children from the North of Santander, but life surprised me: most of them belong to Venezuelan families who emigrated just like me. The strange and at the same time fantastic of this whole story is that in our country we could not train as athletes and now it is Colombia that gives us the opportunity to belong to a team and grow up sporting.

From the first moment I understood that it was my opportunity to continue working for Venezuela and at the same time contribute something positive to another country that is welcoming us with open arms. In front of me were children who were also looking to improve their quality of life and fulfill their dreams, and that became my main motivation to support this project.

The accessibility of the Sport Club Antorchas is one of the reasons that has multiplied the number of members. In Colombia, the social strata are divided from one to six, with "stratum one" being the one with fewer resources and "stratum six" the one with the most resources. In this case, the training school is developed in a "stratum three" of the central zone of Cúcuta that is surrounded by communities of "stratum one" and "stratum two", thus converting it into a program of easy access to the population.

Another aspect that promotes the accessibility of the Training School is the learning opportunity offered to children with special education needs, greatly expanding the possibilities of child development. I believe that this has become one of our strengths, thanks to the participation of children with motor disabilities or psychological disorders, who turned the team Antorchas into a space where all participants, regardless of their conditions, coexist equally.

The impact of this process in the community has been totally positive. As a coach I witness the physical, psycho-emotional and behavioral evolution that children have recently presented: an effective and efficient motor development adapted to Ultimate Frisbee, the practice of assertive communication, respect for peers, improvements in school performance, leadership, and more integration with their families.

On the other hand, the place where we train is a basketball court that was once an unsafe place, a home for people in a street situation, and a drug distribution point; but in part important, thanks to the contribution of values of Antorchas, now it is a healthy place where the integral growth of the population is promoted.

Since I've been to the Ultimate Frisbee for more than 8 years, I've had the certainty that through the album I can conquer the world, this time guiding children based on the philosophy of the Spirit of the Game and the analogy it represents with respect to the values that they are applied in everyday life, such as: knowledge of the rules, respectful communication, impartiality, avoiding physical contact and fun.

In all this time I have verified that this sport is a powerful tool of change, that is why Antorchas means for me the opportunity to revert the negative social impact that has developed due to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela; these children are the opportunity to cultivate valuable and brilliant citizens who identify my country and Colombia in the not too distant future through their talent.

💫 Back to life

🤝 At the beginning and at the end of the training, we always meet in a circle to talk about our objectives and what we learned during the day, as well as to carry out integration dynamics and pray.

I feel that working with children is the most enriching experience of a professional in the area of education; what they teach me in each training is equivalent to or greater than what I teach them; and through these learnings have been rebuilding my life here, I refer specifically to the intellectual and spiritual aspect.

Intellectually, because the energy, intelligence and accelerated learning capacity of children requires me to constantly instruct me to provide them with quality training; and in the spiritual, because by their actions they help me to be a better person, they always surprise me with their attitudes during situations that arise inside and outside the game and that involve maturity to reason.

They have become my source of power; every time they call me "teacher", every time they hug me, every time they tell me something personal, every time they come to me when they need help, every time they laugh, every time they answer my call, every time I see them achieve some achievement, every time they throw a frisbee, every time they celebrate a goal, every time they shake hands with their teammates, every time we meet at the beginning and at the end of the training to pray... simply to me that is to come back to life.

I know that rebuilding a country requires time, and more if it is with a Frisbee, that's why I am willing to invest my life in it. Transmitting the philosophy of the Spirit of the Game became my mission of life, and I hope to continue this text in a few years to tell you how, who we massify the Ultimate Frisbee, we contribute in the reconstruction of Venezuela and the evolution of Colombia.

© All the content of this publication is original of Milka Bustamante.


You are doing such a great job! I love to hear that even though you had to leave the country that you love you didn't forget it and you try to improve the situation from where you are. Working with children is the best that we can do as they are our future so hopefully the next generation in Venezuela will be completely different.

I wish you a good a luck and a lot of success with the training! :)

PS: Every little helps.. if we want to change the world it is important to start with ourselves :)

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