Approximately one year ago QT began to support the poor Leon community of RTO Walter Ferrety. This, like many communities struggles with teen drug abuse. One of the recognized contributing factors to this issue is the lack of positive activities for teen participation.
Working with community leaders, QT has taken the initiative to improve the local football field La Casona to help create a more positive environment. The field was used during the day but as it had no lighting, drug abuse remained during the late afternoon and night. QT took the bold approach and paid for the installation of new lighting for the park. Now families, children and teens can use the park during the evening as well.
The local police have shown their support by participating in soft security while being positively involved with the community.
Starting Feb 24th a series of football games have been organized using the Champions League as model. The tournament takes place for the next two months, three times per week, from 5 to 7 in the evening. The first day there were 6 teams with 6 kids 10 to 14 years old. As a result of this enthusiastic and successful event we have added 6 more teams bringing the total to 72 kids. Based on this early success we will arrange to include older kids and bring participation to 400 youth involved.
A huge spin off benefit that we hoped for happened. Many families came and stayed at the park and the enthusiastic participation of the QT volunteers was infectious. Smiles and laughs were everywhere.
Our goal is to improve teen participation and giving them a positive and active environment to be involved in after dark. This participation may help reduce the boredom that leads to drug abuse.
QT supported La Casona and the parks by way of having volunteers arrive and participate where they could. QT also funded the purchase of the lighting, the football, team jerseys, time clock and referee equipment. Total commitment was $1500 US