This is a story about the power of people to make the changes it wants to see in their community.
I was talking to my friend Graciela, who lives in a poor barrio/neighborhood outside of Cartagena, Colombia with her husband, and two kids, 7 and 12 years old.
She told me about how a neighborhood gem, the outdoor sports court, flooded recently and is completely inaccessible for play. The kids have not had a space to play sports for many months and the next nearest court is too far to get to.
The flooded court, besides being a travesty for the community, exhibits a danger. The stagnant water attracts disease-carrying mosquitoes, and the water is deep enough to pose the risk of a child drowning.
The flooded court happens every year during the 6-month rainy season. In the dry season, the water will dry, leaving a wrecked court. The authorities and local government completely ignore the pleads of the community to fix the court, as it provides a safe place for kids to play, keeping them off the streets.
Two hundred kids play in this court, ranging from 2 to 18 years old. They play kickball, soccer, basketball, & baseball. They ride their bikes and jump rope. The community would even get together to watch movies. It was a wonderful way to bring the community together, and of course, occupy the at-risk youth who are susceptible to joining gangs and getting into drugs.
The loss of this court is a travesty to the entire community.
But it's not too late. An architect friend of mine developed a blueprint of a field that will be able to withstand the rainy season without getting flooded. The local community will provide the work. At the end of this project, 200 hundred kids and their families will benefit from having a new, year-round court. By no means will this be a state-of-the-art court. But it will provide the basic needs for a community of kids to have fun & play with eachother.
Please help us build "La cancha de la alegría" or "the court of happiness" because no matter how little these kids have, they still manage to be happy. We can learn a lot from them!
We are raising $15,000 to fund this project. No-one will be profiting monetarily from this. We will be using all the money for the court. There is no donation too small!
In addition to Gofundme, we will be reaching out to our connections in Cartagena to see how they can contribute as well. If you have any ideas on how to get this project off the ground, please reach out!
DonationsSee top donations
- Pablo Gutiérrez
- Carol Roubal Mitchell
- Arturo Mejia
- Diego Ortiz
- Charles Reilly
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