Proyecto Gakko no Go

Name:Proyecto Gakko no Go
Contributor:Maria(Loli) Puerta
Prize:Third place


The Gakko no Go project started in 2008 with the aim to teach go in the school and has been developed, at least, in five schools affiliated to an educational and public catholic organization spread all over the country named "Fe y Alegria" (Faith and Happiness, founded to teach low income family children and also teenagers). Gakko no Go project was born when, in 2008, a young and enthusiastic catholic Sister and teacher named Marisela Mujica, was enchanted by Hikaru no Go comic. She proposed Loli Puerta to dictate a Go game workshop to schoolchildren on Saturdays. gakko-avgjesusm The name of the school is "Jesus Maestro" , it is located in the middle of the bigger marginalized favelas in South America. Some players of the Venezuelan Go Association, mostly volunteers, give lessons during the school year and make a Final Tournament (by individuals and by teams) at the end of the period. Tournaments help the children a lot to have discipline and to desire to improve. In adittion, we could observe the children appreciate very much to have a "judge" in their lives. As the project progressed became necessary to help the volunteer teachers, because there isn't any guide or method in Spanish language. During the 2012-2013 school year, thanks to the International Go Federation, our project could find the support to improve the quality of the method. Fernando Aguilar, the best player of Latin America, supervises us and created a "progressive method" used since then to teach, available now for all countries of Latinoamerica in the web page of the Iberamerican Go Federation:

Project aim:


The aim of the project is, using the moral values and rules of living of the game, help the children to improve their self-esteem and tolerance for those with different ideas than their own, improve in their thinking and reflecting ability, in their capability to stablish and obey group norms, and they have best school performance too. The place where the children live is an extremely dangerous district. These children became adults too quickly. The target groups are the 4th grade children (10-12 years-old) before they become teens. They start at 4th grade of elementary school and the projec follow-up grow for three years until 6th grade. After 6th grade they have to go to another schools (Fe y Alegria secundary schools; public or private schools) therefore Go is spreading naturally to other places across the city and country. Slowly but continously. Project can not keep track of them but the Venezuelan Go Association keeps in touch by inviting them to participate in tournaments.

Means of the project:

At the start of the project, there weren�t any means,no go boards and go stones, only the library salon to meet. gakkonogo2012jm Volunteers of the Venezuelan Go Associaion carried out their equipments. For the project, AVG made a big magnetic go board. In the while, children made themselves go boards with paper and go stones with caps of soft drinks. In 2009, The AVG got a set of GO stones donation by Thai Go Association. These stones were brought to Venezuela by a volunteer group, The Go International Exchange Society, which kindly loaded up that heavy material from Japan (the stones traveled Thai-Japan-Venezuela). These were twelve sets which allowed the AVG to expand the Gakko No Go Project to four schools: Maria Inmaculada, Kennedy, Aguirre and Bonet (school for deaf-mute). We have no Go books, we have the guides written by Mr. Fernando Aguilar Nowadays, go stones are very difficult and very expensive stuff. A lady of the AVG is making go boards of denim. The children live in a poor area without facilities, for most of them Internet is only available in the school Jesus Maestro.

Time line:


Geographic extension:

Petare, a neighbordhood favelas in Caracas, Venezuela


  • Every year around thirty new children learn the Go Game. This means 30 families took contact with Go
  • Children participated in tournaments, learned discipline and felt proud of their medals and gains achieved
  • Children involved in the project developed better sense of friendship
  • Children also developed interest in foreign languages like Japanese and Chinese
  • Children had oportunity to represent Venezuela in the tournament ORION by Internet. It was a prove to adquire responsability
  • Children have participated in a little Tournament of Mind Sports Games, public demostrations festival,the Japan Cultural Week, Sports Japanese Festival, etc., making contact with other cultures
  • Iberoamerica has now a written method of teaching go in Spanish which helps instructors and volunteers in the continent
  • Even so the children who abandon school because of their hard lives, keep in their heart Go, like a good stuff to remember

Public exposure:



Red Innovemos of UNESCO distinguish the project to appear in their web page:

Human resources:


  • Sister Marisela Mujica (Fe y Alegria) : organize and coordinate all the go activities for classes and tournaments in schools (at least four hours per week since 2008)
  • Ms. Maria (Loli) Puerta organize and coordinate all the go activities between Fe y Alegr�a and Asociaci�n Venezolana de Go (at least four hours per week since 2008)
  • Mr. Fernando Aguilar (one year/half-time and tree visits to Venezuela (around 25 days)
  • Mr. Omar Pacheco (2dan): main teacher (at least, two hours per week since 2008-2012, 2012/2013 five hours per week in 9 months, 2014 three hours per week, during three months)
  • Mr. Julio Melchert (2dan): teacher (at least, 2012/2013 five hours per week during 9 months, 2014 three hours per week during three months)
  • Mr. Daniel Gutierrez (1dan): volunteer teacher (at least two hours per every two weeks since 2011 until now)
  • Mr. Angel Gutierrez (3kyuu): volunteer teacher (at least two hours every two weeks since 2011 until 2013)
  • Mr. Jesus Gpmez (10kyuu): volunteer teacher (at least 1 hour per month since 2013 until now)
  • Mr. Tomas Rosario, Mr. Irwin Henandez, Mr. Aghner Florez, Mr. Jose Parra, Mr. Gerardo Useche, Mrs. Agnes Metanomsky, Mr. Fernando Febres, Mr. Ramon Nunez, Mr. Abel Perez (at least 30 hours each one)
  • Sisters and staff of the Jesus Maestro School and one coordinator in every school
  • Another go players assistants tournament from 2008 until now

Financial resources:



Since 2013 we have no financial resources due the very difficult economic situation of Venezuela.


For 2015-2016 school year we have a challenge: keep the project active !!!

During the project we detected something more to do: Give some lectures to the parents and teachers in the schools. Our new challenge is to involve them for better support of the children.



Gakko no Go Project needs gifts to pay a teacher who can give Go classes as a formal matter (inside the school program). Volunteer time (Saturdays) is not adecuate to control and develope the program. One hour class per week /per school/per teacher costs 10 US$ (transportation to school takes two hours). It means US$400 per year/per school. We would appreciate it very much if somebody can colaborate with us.

Also, if somebody can donate: go stones, stuff for prizes (like books, go t-shirts, etc) also would help a lot

Additonal comments:

Thanks a lot for invite us to participe!!

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