The mission of Chess for Change is to promote and support chess as an educational tool that will excite young learners about the joys of academic excellence, stimulate critical thinking, and enhance their emotional development. Integral to this is utilizing chess as the centerpiece in bringing together children from the various social and economic sectors of society, with the aim of promoting better understanding, respect and appreciation among the various sectors of society. The ultimate goals of our efforts are:
(1) to help the schools develop more graduates who are thinking, caring, and productive members of society, and
(2) to establish the teaching of chess as a recognized profession, alongside the teaching of any other academic skill.
While our major emphasis will be on serving disadvantaged children, we also recognize that chess is beneficial for all children, regardless of financial, racial, social or religious considerations. We further believe that there is a great social good to be achieved by having children from different components of society intermixing for chess activities, whether for instruction, tournament play, or general recreation. Chess for Change will therefore support chess initiatives for children from all socio-economic areas, although the majority of our efforts will be toward those with the fewest resources.
Since 2007, Chess for Change teachers have taught classes to children in South Africa and the Caribbean. Headed by our Field Manager, Lenté Mare, an outstanding and tirelessly dedicated chess teacher, we carry out our mission of helping children through a multi-pronged approach detailed below.
1. Chess for Change identifies, trains, and supports chess players who will become teachers bringing the benefits of chess into the schools, community centers and homes of the children. We conduct extensive seminars to train these chess players in teaching skills and then provide instructional materials and manuals to assist in their classroom instruction. A vital part of the long-term success of our initiative is to make teaching chess a full profession, as much as teaching maths, science, music, art, language, or any other skill.
2. Chess for Change identifies and provides support for schools wishing to have chess programs.
3. Chess for Change organizes tournaments on a regular basis for the young learners to have an opportunity to put their skills to the test, challenge other children, meet new friends, and compete for prizes.
4. Chess for Change provides chess sets for the schools to utilize in the classrooms, and also for the children to take home so they can practice and play casual games with their friends.