We step out of our comfort zone
an interview with Gabriela Matus
Who are you? What links your work and passion between Yunus Sports Hub and The Economy of Francesco?
My name is Gabriela Matus, I am an industrial designer in Guatemala, IOC Young Leader 2019-2020 and Community Leader for Latin America of Yunus Sports Hub. I am passionate about design, inclusion, sports and social projects. When all of these come together at the same point ideas start to emerge that seek to create a greater impact on communities and people. From YSH I have been able to learn and understand the importance of sport to address a social problem through social business and initiatives that use sport as a development tool. The Economy of Francesco’s calling is not separate from the same calling we have as part of YSH. We are committed to creating and building initiatives that seek to create a more caring, more equitable, more just economy, where no one is left behind. Both are connected and related to each other because these calls motivate us not only to work in a specific area, but we seek a broader scope from the point of view of the economy, ecology, sports for development, social projects, science and technology, etc.
What would you say is Professor Muhammad Yunus’ greatest contribution to the economy and to sports?
Through the creation of microcredits and the concept of social enterprises, he has helped many people to get out of poverty, to join efforts to move forward in a collective and communitarian way and above all to empower and motivate women to be part of this change. Being able to link social business and sport has been a great opportunity to put into practice and demonstrate that Nelson Mandela’s phrase “sport has the power to change the world” is true. Sport can be used to address a problem that affects a group or an entire community. Being able to learn all this from Professor Yunus and escalate it to the level of the Olympic Movement will undoubtedly have a positive contribution for all the people who relate to and live in the world of sports.
From your experience, what is the biggest challenge that young people face when faced with problems of inequality, lack of opportunities, work, study and poverty?
The biggest challenge we have to face is that of indifference. Getting out of our comfort zone makes us completely in tune with empathy and understanding of a reality that may be different from ours but is directly related to us. We can take small steps and perform specific actions, generating more and better opportunities for people living in vulnerable situations and striving to build a more equitable, more humane and fairer economy. If we step out of our comfort zone, we can realize that there is much to do in the world and that we can be part of the change.
What message does the award of Professor Muhammad Yunus during the #Tokyo2020 Olympic Games leave?
That the Olympic Movement is already taking firm and confident steps on the scope and social dimension that sport and physical activity can have. That we can all learn and put into practice this message that Professor Yunus has brought in different forms, channels, media or initiatives and that we can all build a better world through sport. The Olympic Movement is taking these steps and we can all do it from small actions or initiatives.