Play on!

At Tecpetrol, we are supporting a range of different civil society organizations working with the community. We've been sharing the work of Lekotek, who’ve been developing actions to promote the right to play for children with disabilities and in risk situations.

"Beyond our COVID-19 response plan and the continuity we’ve given to our corporate social investment programs, at Tecpetrol we're developing a series of social management initiatives linked to donations, sponsorship and training that bring us closer to the communities where we operate,” explains Pablo Martellotta, corporate head of Community Relations. In Argentina, during 2021, Tecpetrol continued working with ASDRA (an association of families of people with Down Syndrome), as well as with Fundación Equidad, Fundación Cimientos, Fundación Leer and in particular, with Asociación Civil Centro Lekotek.

Lekotek is a non-profit organization that has been working for the last thirty years to help children with disabilities and in situations of social risk, to integrate better with their families and the community through play, a fundamental right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Playing is a universal language that crosses language and ideological barriers, fostering the inclusion of girls and boys from different cultures with different characteristics and abilities. Over the years, Lekotek has been developing a range of actions and initiatives to encourage the full exercise of this right, accompanying and training people from health, education and justice institutions as well as community organizations to start up their own play areas.

The link with Tecpetrol came about seventeen years ago. Upcountry in Argentina, at the oil fields, one of the most pressing issues the company detected in the local communities was that children lacked spaces where they could play and find stimulation and encouragement for their recreational expression, and there were few options for them to play in their communities. In line with work pioneered by Fundación Leer, a number of community play areas were set up in different reading spaces in Comodoro Rivadavia, Salta and Neuquen. A play area was also set up at the Comodoro Rivadavia Pediatric Hospital.

"The work that the organization does has huge implications. So after we’d been collaborating with the local community near our oil operations, we looked further afield, continuing to foster closer ties at the corporate level by making different institutional contributions," explains Pablo. This is how Tecpetrol has made its contribution to support the central play area in Buenos Aires, which has been the basis for the development of different volunteer actions, as well as toy donation campaigns.

Some Lekotek actions

New play areas: play areas were set up in hospitals, health centers, schools, community organizations, as well as courthouses, both in the public and private spheres. Thanks to the support of companies, social security organizations and agencies at national, provincial, municipal and autonomous level in the City of Buenos Aires (CABA), a total of 132 play areas have been opened in Argentina.

Lekotek Play Area: based at the Lekotek headquarters located in the Barracas neighborhood (CABA), this is where work continues to develop various different programs:

  • Neighborhood play area: where children and their families go to play groups, developed with input and involvement from parents and grandparents, as well as other figures.
  • Institutional play area: these are play meets set up with children from various institutions and organizations, and have a previously scheduled meeting agenda.
  • Families program: development of play groups for families of children with disabilities at social risk, thanks to the loan of toys. These are kept at the foundation’s headquarters which have played host to over 500 families.
  • Play resource center: the physical location where recreational resources—games and toys used in play meets and lent to families—are kept, repaired and sanitized. Today, the center has over 3,000 games and toys, some specifically designed for children of different abilities.

Do you want to join Lekotek as a volunteer? If you live in Argentina and want to volunteer, there are different ways of getting involved and supporting them on their mission to ensure that more and more children can develop through play

Experience at Fortín de Piedra

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