This is the moment to honor to our volunteer Juan Pablo Gil, who, with his service makes possible the realization of the PLAYLEE mission and vision proposed by the work team and other organizations that supports the creation of a better world.

To assess and encourage educators that are educational points of reference, that perform pedagogical acts visibly embodied in the proactive formation of sensitive and critical beings, capable of engaging constructively in their fulfillment and in in the creation of a better world.

Juan Pablo Gil has been a YMCA volunteer for 5 years; he has been involved with the YMCA of Armenia and has shown his willingness to serve others while involved in community outreach programs; giving always his best in each moment and becoming in an outstanding, committed, loving and persevering volunteer. Nowadays, Juan Pablo’s work is essential for the YMCA Movement in Armenia.


WHY ARE YOU A VOLUNTEER? I am a YMCA volunteer due to a program run by this organization called ICCP&SWT, with which I got involved in 2011. I had the dream to travel to the USA and work as a camp counselor, and thanks to the movement I got the chance to transform my life through this experience. Since then, I got interested in the volunteering field of the movement and I started to get involved in different programs. Today, it is one of the most important parts of my life; I always say that the YMCA is my second family.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST OF BEING A VOLUNTEER? The part I enjoyed the most is getting to meet such an immense variety of people, from different cultures, ethnic groups or socio-economic backgrounds, and being able to transform or at least leave a positive mark on their lives.


HOW DID YOU GET TO BE INVOLVED IN PLAYLEE? I got the chance to be involved in such an amazing project thanks to Juliana Marin, a volunteer in the movement and member of Youth Colombian Leaders; a group create d by Youth Ambassadors Program Alumni – program sponsored by the US Embassy and the US Department of State. This group had the idea some years ago, I heard about it and I got really interested in the challenge and the need of that community.

HOW DO YOU THINK THAT PLAYLEE IMPACTS TO THE BENEFICIARY COMMUNITY? That is definitely the most beautiful part of this project. The community called Portal del Linares has been influenced by our project mostly to one important part of the population: the children. They are the ones who attend the classes and get to learn a new language in an experiential way. Besides, we deeply work with the practice of essential values in the class that help the children to be better people every day. In this way, I consider that we are not only transforming the lives of these kids, but also in an indirect way, the lives of their families.


WHAT IS YOUR VISION WITH PLAYLEE? I want to see PLAYLEE as a project that promotes a new way of teaching and learning English using experimental education to more and more children of the country. I want to see more parents involved in the project and encouraging their kids to be bilingual and fulfill their dreams, not matter how far they may be, true. My bigger desire is to hear more children who do not have the economical way to be in a bilingual program, to talk in English and to be better people with our society.

HOW DID PLAYLEE START IN ARMENIA? PLAYLEE in Armenia started on April in 2013. Juliana Marin, who brought this amazing idea from other cities of Colombia, other volunteers from the YMCA and I started this project in a neighborhood called La Mariela. We began the classes there in the small backyard of a house, with about eighteen kids. Later on, we continued our classes in the main social area of that neighborhood and we were there with a little less amount of kids for about one year. Since the beginning of 2014 to the current time, we have been giving our lessons in a different neighborhood called Portal the Pinares, with about 15 children.

WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED WITH PLAYLEE? We have accomplished a lot of general and specific goals through this wonderful project. On one hand, thanks to the YMCA and the director of the BNC Colombo Americano in Armenia, we could get a scholarship to one girl involved in the project and interested in learning English, in the bilingual program that this well-known English institute offers. She has been studying there since with great results and a promising future coming. On the other hand, I consider that we have achieved to create some consciousness of learning English to these amount of kids as a way of having better personal and professional development.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS WITH PLAYLEE? My goals with PLAYLEE are to get more children and more communities involved. We want to make more people aware about the important of learning English in our current society. We want to see with PLAYLEE more families joined and together with the desire of seeing their children become better people full of values and professional basis.




Game on! I powered PLAYLEE

La sucursal del cielo recibió con una cálida bienvenida a 34 voluntarios de la fundación Youth Colombian Leaders YCL que representaron a Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Medellín, Popayán, Pereira y Quibdó en el PLAYLEE National Camp 2015.

Voluntarios PLAYLEE Colombia

Desde su creación y durante los últimos tres años PLAYLEE (PLAYing and LEarning English), un proyecto de la fundación YCL, se ha extendido a nueve ciudades del país, y del pasado 20 al 24 de Marzo del 2015 se llevó a cabo el PLAYLEE National Camp en Cali; donde 34 representantes de estas ciudades se reunieron para capacitarse, unificar y re direccionar sus esfuerzos en el proyecto.

El campamento se financió gracias al apoyo de la Embajada Americana de USA en Colombia, del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, y de los 300 ex becarios de diversos países que eligieron a PLAYLEE como el mejor proyecto del hemisferio occidental y uno de los ganadores en la competencia internacional por fondos AEIF (Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund) 2014.

Bajo el lema “Game on! I powered PLAYLEE”, los voluntarios de YCL y PLAYLEE aprovecharon al máximo cada día para capacitarse en temas de liderazgo y metodologías pedagógicas, compartir experiencias y organizar entre todos un Kit PLAYLEE nacional de modo que cualquier persona que quisiera llevar el programa a su comunidad lo pueda hacer.

El evento se desarrolló en un ambiente de aprendizaje experiencial similar al que desarrolla PLAYLEE en las ciudades. Entre talleres con bases de bilingüismo y los torneos de tapas en los breaks, todos aprendieron de todos y cada uno dio su aporte para enriquecer las temáticas de trabajo; que fueron desde organizar un plan de comunicaciones, planear el proyecto Empowerment Connection (YCL Germany) compartir expectativas y experiencias por medio del arte, recrear metodologías de Literacy para el aprendizaje del inglés (LEIC) hasta mejorar las habilidades de liderazgo por medio del trabajo en equipos (Equipoder).

El 24 de Marzo del 2015 se presentó el primer borrador del Kit PLAYLEE y se dio cierre al campamento con la alegría del deber cumplido, la nostalgia de despedirse de los nuevos amigos y la esperanza y la responsabilidad de hacer un mejor trabajo para los casi 300 niños beneficiarios del programa en el país.

Gracias a todos los voluntarios que hicieron parte de este espacio, a los facilitadores, a LEIC y a Equipoder por sus enseñanzas. También, siempre gracias a ACJ YMCA Colombia, la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Colombia, el Departamento de Estado, Partners of the Americas, Fundación Cedesocial en Barranquilla, Club YMCA en Popayán y las diferentes organizaciones ejecutoras en las 9 ciudades que hacen posible este maravilloso proyecto.

Por: Ayxa Chaverra Rentería, YA 2013 y Voluntaria PLAYLEE

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Creamos personajes, bailamos y aprendemos en inglés

Hacemos que cada clase en PLAYLEE sea una nueva experiencia para todos los chicos y chicas que participan del programa. Compartimos una nota para el canal de TeleSoledad en el que Silvana Gómez: coordinadora del programa en Barranquilla, Abraham Cisne: representante de Partners of the Americas en Washington DC y 2 niñas becarias en Soledad nos cuentan un poco más.

Ir al minuto 10:35 para ver la nota de PLAYLEE: