School Programs - San Narciso

 

The School Program initiative started with one man and one school.

Jesus Ek is a man with a dream. In 2006 he was one of our first Belizeans to help us coach. In 2007 and 2008 he helped us expand our programs into more villages and brought even more children into his own village for camp. In 2009, with over 10 years of teaching experience at San Narciso, he inspired his own principal and staff and started the Sports Servants School Program movement. The initial pilot program at San Narciso was a huge success and allowed 300 children to participate. He trained all 20 teachers to serve as coaches. He formed girls teams and boys teams where practices were held during PE time and games were played after school. At the same time the children were playing, they were also learning life skills and values with high expectations of behavior. In just one year, higher academic performance has improved their school ranking in the district, and teachers have shared that their have also been significant changes in behavior and attitude.

From this one program, we have built our model to serve schools throughout the entire country of Belize. In Summer 2009, Jesus Ek assumed the role of Belizean School Program Coordinator for Sports Servants. With the help of Director Zac Hood, the two drafted the first document that would serve as a school program startup guide for future schools to use in starting a school program. Program kits and guides were distributed to the principals of interested schools and the school program initiative began. The guide is not a stand-alone document though, it is an outline of our program that describes year-round training requirements, leadership development, and a calendar of events. It serves as our invitation into our relationship-based approach and the art of using soccer as a medium to empower children.

It is truly beautiful to think about what one man can do for his community. Jesus Ek has been that man. With a servant’s heart stemming from his deep faith and mother’s love for children, Jesus has made a huge difference in his school. And while his school is doing well, he has stepped into a significant leadership role and is helping us spark a movement throughout the country of Belize.