As a Teach First participant in a challenging school in south London, Henry May experienced the power of football to engage and positively impact his pupils. This understanding, combined with his own love of football and his belief in the power of sports to change lives, led him to launch The Huracan Foundation (THF) in 2009. Named after the team C.A.Huracan in Argentina, where Henry spent time living and working, THF supports projects around the world that use football to help change outcomes for children.
Ten years on, The Huracan Foundation continues to work with participants and alumni of Teach For All partners from across the network who have identified projects that leverage football as a catalyst for learning, and who have formulated an idea that they believe will significantly impact education both inside and outside of the classroom.
Each year, THF brings its Project Leaders together for an annual Kick Off training and onboarding week, and then provides them with support centered on four pillars:
1. Resources (funding and team uniforms),
2. Learning (access to THF’s online curriculum),
3. Community (through the peer-to-peer network of Project Leaders and THF’s thriving social media following)
4. Mentoring (access to a platform of international experts who act as mentors during the course of a project)
The aim of The Huracan Foundation is to both impact the lives of the children the projects support and to develop the leadership potential of the Project Leaders. THF acts as an accelerator so that projects can grow to become much bigger, self-funding organizations that can impact the lives of significantly more children.
Over the past nine years, THF has supported 18 Teach For All network participants across 15 projects, reaching over 900 children.
Each project leverages football to both improve educational outcomes in the classroom (improved attendance leading to improved performance) and help to address local social challenges, such as gender inequality and use of drugs and alcohol. In Urabá, a remote region of Colombia, a project led by Enseña por Colombia alumnus Daniel Agudelo helped reduce teenage pregnancies in the school community to zero over a two-year period. One of the players, Nasly, later went on to become the first girl from her rural community to attend university. And in Mexico, Enseña por Mexico alumna Diana Lagunes’s project led to attendance rates of the girls involved rising to over 90%, and their grades increasing to an average of 85%, over the course of a single term.
The Huracan Foundation typically works in very rural communities, where children—especially girls—have rarely, if ever, had the opportunity to be part of a sports team of any kind. The socio-emotional benefits participating on a team brings—from developing confidence and self esteem, to team building and leadership skills—have a real and enduring impact on children’s lives.
Watch the video above to learn more about The Huracan Foundation’s work with participants and alumni across the network, and follow THF on Twitter to stay connected!