Focus on: Daniel Barría, Executive Director of Game Observatory

October 16, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

"What I like the most about Colunga, besides being in the center of the capital, is that it is at the center of the relations of the organizations"

How did you get to civil society?

In 2005 or 2004 I did my practice of Ppsychology in Un Techo For Chile, my practice supervisor was Arturo Celedón, current Executive Director of Colunga. In Ceiling, I discovered that I could professionally reach civil society. Then I worked in Fútbol Más. My professional trajectory has been linked to the foundations, and over time we came up with a group of friends that we could invent our own foundation. So we started in the administration of a school in Puente Alto. This was derived to what today is called the Observatory of the Game.

I am the Executive Director since 2012, we had to make that foundation to take the administration of that school. At that time we started to try different things, because what interested us a lot was that the students were comfortable in school, that it was a place of comfort. Working with children in a context of vulnerability, the first thing we had to do was to go to class, and once they were in school, we could make them learn. We started to try different things and we saw that the game had a huge potential in motivating students. And then, little by little, we gave shape to this Observatory of the Game.

What is the organization currently working on?

In the Observatory of the Game we have two lines of work. In one we work with schools, directly with management teams and teachers, where we encourage them to use the game as a learning tool. In that sense, we implemented toy libraries in schools. A playroom is a selection of games for a specific purpose. There are toy libraries for school coexistence, for mathematics, for language, and at the same time we deliver materials to schools and train the management and teaching team on how to get the most out of those games.

In the other line we work with teachers individually. There we have different training programs, such as training courses and a diploma with a university. There is a third line that we work in Haiti (Port-au-Prince) where we focus directly on children in three schools, and also train teachers and management teams in Haitian schools. A year ago we are there, there is a team of approximately nine people.

Photo: Observatory of the Game.

What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge has to do with scalability, in the last two years we have had a very important growth. From a team of four people we became more than thirty. So, we want to continue growing, but maintain the quality of the programs we do, and at the same time see how we face the next steps of growth.

How has the experience of being at ColungaHUB been for you?

Before Colunga we were well isolated, even geographically, since we were located in Puente Alto. It was difficult for us, from making a meeting until we could meet other organizations or people who did things similar to ours. We felt a little alone because we were far away, but we were also far from the networks. What I like the most about Colunga, besides being in the center of the capital, is that it is at the center of the relationships of the organizations, and that is super nutritious.

How do you evaluate Colunga's support with "Emprende el Viaje"?

"Start the Journey" has allowed us to go recognizing some things that we did more intuitively. He was showing us a light of how to develop them. The good thing about "Emprende el Viaje" is that silver is very useful, because it pays salaries, but not only that, it is feeling even more part of the Colunga network, together with other organizations that are in something similar to us. With the support of "Undertake the Journey" we have been strengthening some things that we did not do so well.


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