Every week, 16-year-old Aldair Poma Rubio walks 40-minutes from his home in Machec, Peru, to Ruriquilca School with a heavy bag of sports equipment on his back. It is an exhausting trek that he has been making for over a year now.
Aldair is a Right To Play youth leader, and a dedicated one at that.
Once in Ruriquilca, Aladair leads groups of children and youth through Right To Play activities, teaching them not only sports skills, but also valuable lessons on teamwork, respect and cooperation.
Originally from Lima, when Aldair’s parents separated, he and his two younger brothers moved with their father to be closer to family in Machec – a remote village in the mountains of central Peru.
With his father working long hours far from Machec, and his mother still in the capital, it often falls on Aldair to care for his siblings. Despite this responsibility, when he learned about the Right To Play Youth As Leader program, he jumped at the opportunity.
My first thought was ‘Why not?’ he says. I am excited for the opportunity to learn new skills and be a role model for my family, school, and community.
And a role model he is.
Aldair captivates his young audience with his contagious enthusiasm, and even has his younger brother Angel following in his footsteps. The 14-year-old has become a Right To Play youth leader as well, and can often be found at his big brother’s side, helping out.
Aldair’s unbridled dedication and confidence do not go unnoticed.
When I visit my old school friend in Lima, they comment on how confident and well-spoken I’ve become, says Aldair.
The young leader is even influencing his father.
My father is learning from me, says Aldair. I feel that he is becoming more open with me and his communication with me and my brothers has definitely improved.