Estación Meiquer

We empower children with creative play environments to transform communities in Mexico.

Photo of Hugo Alberto Michel Castillo
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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

César Alfredo Espinosa Michel

Initiative's representative date of birth

18/December/1995

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Mexico

Where are you making a difference?

Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

Website or social media url(s)

https://www.instagram.com/estacionmeiquer/ https://www.facebook.com/estacionmeiquer/

When was your organisation founded?

August/2016

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $50k - $100k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

Our story shared by our founder, Sergio Hernández: "My daughter is 8 and my son is 11 years old. Our life changed 6 years ago. Sometimes the decisions of the little ones do not understand them. It was a hard time for them. One morning the three of us were crying when we were preparing to go to school. Everyone with their own feelings and thoughts. We hugged each other and started laughing at our ideas, said that it was okay to cry and express ourselves. One of the factors that allowed us to communicate was laughter, we decided to laugh and play more. We played more and in different ways, learning more about ourselves and others. And after almost 4 years of sharing with our neighbours and university, we still play to transform communities."

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

“Most schools in most countries place a higher priority on teaching students to follow students and rules than on helping students develop their own ideas, goals and strategies” Lifelong Kindergarten, Mitchel Resnick. Moreover, violence and insecurity Latin American countries have limited children to play, reducing their opportunities to explore, imagine and learn. Brining back play environments is core to developing future skills and happiness.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We have a creative play methodology that allows us to design and implement creative play activities with children focusing on any topic and using a broad set of “tools”, like STEAM itself and Maker-related activities. Moreover, we currently train changemakers (social service program w/Tec de Monterrey) with this methodology, empowering them to both create their own activities but also implementing them with kids. For more than 3 years, we have collaborated with our allies (Tec de Monterrey & Public libraries) that provide us physical workplaces. Now, we have a robust model in 4 different “play communities” in 4 different places in Guadalajara; each one of these communities have a situation of vulnerability. Thus, our trained changemakers are providing workshops in low-income communities (allies workplaces) that empower children to develop skills for the future, have a place to play safely and enjoy their right to be happy. We are focusing as on a program that develops a mindset for key challenges of the future: Sustainability and ecology, Inventing for our communities and knowing me and knowing the others (peace culture and conflict resolution through reflection and conversation).

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Our favorite game station is Jocotan. Jocotan is a very special place for us, since we have been working there for three years. Jocotan is a special community, as it remains as a neighbourhood that shares similar characteristics as indigenous heritage within their inhabitants . When we started, the place that currently is a library, was almost abandoned. So we started working with the gubernamental dependencies in charge of it, and we reached an agreement in which we were allowed to give workshops and attract around 20 children weekly. Through the years we have learned so much about their community, their problems and also we provided them with a special place to play, learn and develop new abilities.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

We develop skills through gamification in which we learn about different subjects such as arts, maths and technology. We use different STEAM tools such as "Makedo" and "Makey-Makeys" in which children can learn within our own-generated contents, while playing and sharing experiences we generate communities in which children can play safely, empowering communities through our country, focusing on vulnerable ones. We work so children can imagine and create, and grow as changemakers through social transformation. Our work areas are divided into five: gaming communities, changemakers, girls, boys and companions, surroundings and organization, all of them based on Sustainable Development Goals.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

We are focusing on developing problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, empathy, collaboration and resilience to failure. Moreover, we also focus on developing these skills by exploring key challenges of our present and future: Sustainability and ecology, Inventing for our communities (social entrepreneurship) and knowing me/knowing the others (peace culture and conflict resolution). We are currently measuring their progress with how kids interact in workshops (maker). However, we recognize the challenges of measuring them and we are researching more on mechanisms to achieve this.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Liks Eureek'a Maker Kits Robotix Our project focuses on vulnerable communities, reaching to children and complementing their learning experiences centered on problem solving . Our main difference is that our content is based on Sustainable Development Goals and focuses on communities development, and other approaches center on skill development only. We look for new game environments, in which children can play and learn at the same time, surrounded by our own learning experience.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

During the last semester, we collaborated with "Reto Kids" a government program in which childrens participated in workshops focused on developing new skills. We played with 22 children, that created 5 different social entrepreneurship projects, one of our teams won second place in the competition developing a VR videogame that focused on genre equity, inspired by the fact that girls were not allowed to play soccer with their boy classmates. -927 girls and boys have played with us -3 communities impacted -37 mother and fathers -26 trained changemakers -12 certified agents -62 youths participated on our activities -104 workshops -120 tailor-made activities. -3 new strategic alliances

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Our financial plan is focused on the earnings generated by private workshops that we offer to governments and enterprises, by the revenue generated through the sell of our game kit and with our summer and spring courses. We're currently focused on our creative learning experience, trying to learn more and grow our communities, each year we have added a new space, and our intention is to keep growing at that pace for the following years. In mid-term we look for allies to partner and expand our workshops to our whole country. In long term we are interested into launching our own platform in which we can train more changemakers with our methodology so our network grows allowing us play with more children.

10. Team

We are composed of 6 members: César Espinosa (General Coordinator) Sergio Hernández (Education and Pedagogy) Sebastián de la Hoz(Logistics and STEAM Tools) Hugo Michel(Product Design) Miguel Pérez(Game Stations and Operations) Valeria Campos (Equality and Transversality) We are currently working part-time, as our team is composed of college students and recently graduated students. Our project has grown into the areas described above, in which we invite our own changemakers to participate

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 66.7%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 100%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

Yes, absolutely! - 100%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 0%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 50%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 0%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 0%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 100%

Other option - 0%

1 comment

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Photo of Laura Blumes
Team

Inspiring program! Would be great to identify if the business model is sustainable and can be scaled up -- this could benefit so many kids, with a solid & validated model!