Soccer Without Borders

Soccer Without Borders


The word refugee has become a political word in 2015 the global displacement crisis really became top of mind across 60 million people 30 million children, I mean this is One of the most pressing issues of our generation Right here with your coaches at this bowl Please Soccer Without Borders aims to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the United States and abroad you Use a combination of soccer education and community-based activities to Support youth to reach their full potential on and off the field One of the primary populations we serve our refugee and immigrant youth many of whom are English language learners During the school year we serve 2300 youth in seven different locations in the United States and internationally many of our kids have fled some of the most protracted conflicts in the world Last year and in Maryland, we serve nearly 500 unique Participants and those students come from various countries the refugees a lot of them are coming from the DRC Eritrea Syria, Sudan Nepal and then we have a large group of Latino immigrants. We’re coming from El Salvador Honduras Guatemala Tautomer does really well when it comes to welcoming immigrants and refugees I think the coolest part about Baltimore is that it has always been a city of immigrants being a port city And so we’ve always had Diversity of cultures and we’ve always been really welcoming We have five rules Practice English. Have fun safe space Try everything and our biggest one is respect When I got out of school would they all join us in our classroom at the middle school? And it’s a really good way to check in with them. See how their day was and kind of get the mood of everybody So perseverance repeated perseverance Then they get to go out to soccer practice for about a little over an hour and our soccer program is English language integrated So they’re not only learning soccer skills, but also picking up new English words I Feel like I learned something new every day when I’m working with these kids whether it’s how to best communicate with a middle school student and Figuring out different ways of how to approach it There was one time where you passed it 10 times just with those girls without the other team getting it or without us messing up that is improvement some students come to us because they love soccer because they’ve played in their villages back home and camps back home and Soccer was always something that they were able to pick up no matter where they were But other students come either for the English and academic support and still others come just for the social aspect of it The school provides a free meal so we get to have kind of like a team dinner together and then we transition into the classroom for academic support and academic support can be anything from Getting help with homework to studying for a test or if they’re a new student. It might just be doing flashcards one-on-one with a volunteer This year, we actually formed an all-girls team that competes with co-ed teams in our league Laila specifically has been One of the strongest and the best leaders don’t rotate to a different line all you’re doing Nope, you’re gonna pass it in and then that line is gonna cross it over here She actually was the one who said let’s have an all-girls team. Like let’s do it We posed the question and she was the one that said. Yeah, let’s do it And that’s the kind of leadership and confidence that later Laila brings to the team and to the all the students really How should your body and look when you’re kicking the ball up in the air? Yes straight straight. I Am from Sudan but I was born in Chad I like being you know a girl’s team because like many boys think that like girls are suck So we’re gonna show them who we are And in the next day of eternal war Civil War I were so angry right as well as wore my hat. Maybe I have three places Also my hand here maybe oh poor places Isn’t very good Because of my children anytime is helping yeah, he told you in the playing that soccer I Say thank you. Thank you. I stood ready go Dana is also on the the girls team she is Alongside with Layla one of our leaders of the girls team and she has grown to be one of the most confident girls Not only on the soccer field but being able to advocate for her teammates She is one of the students who is ready and able to jump in and help other students with their homework Or the projects that they’re working on. I’m from Egypt and Sudan. I didn’t know how to play soccer I’ve never been playing soccer or I wasn’t not to speak English, but now I know then it’s getting easy. I Didn’t used to get along with no one. I was always shy but also being make me feel welcome today Nice state more the communities that they have The religion for the ladies they have you know, the communities like Closing it’s not it’s not all the girls. They get a chance to playing soccer or whatever If you need to good mine, you have to have to go you have to get Good body, so how can I get a good body if you didn’t use any? sport Well, when you do something you love it will learn more Yes, when you’re doing something that you love you can learn more about it. I’ve Dylan house on are twins They’re from Syria when they first started, I think they weren’t as interested in soccer to be honest and they kind of just knew that we had this program that was a soccer team and then they could get help with homework and Throughout this year that they’ve been with us they’ve become very passionate about soccer and Just wanting to be on a team and they’ve grown into be two of the biggest leaders on our team We have been talking and big camp I Wasn’t like that good was when when I get somewhere like it get too hot They wasn’t having like a big field like in here I was next more field like when you go there you there’s big man’s brain so we can play Emmys a lot of things for us like Help us how how to be how to be parentless of us how to do our homeworks Is that half of my life? I? worry about maybe they was speak just Arabic how they can’t connect with other people but Everything going well They are Speaking Better than me. No I Only got one of their registrations we do get some government funding from school districts from the Department of Education We also are supported by many foundations in the cities where we are Over the last 10 years regular participants have graduated from high school at a rate of 95 percent in our veteran programs That shouldn’t be the only measure if you were to ask our coaches when they see a kid become themselves like really Find their voice and feel confident and come out of their shell and and be healthy both in body and mind and voice that That we consider can success how do we help kids reach their potential and Open doors to who they want to be Asking students if they’ve played before is usually a question that I asked when I first meet them Just to get a gauge of if they’ve ever been on a team or if they’re comfortable playing Organized soccer or if they know the rules of the game Even I would say it’s a very low number of our students have played organized soccer before they came to Baltimore Was our first game you girls it amazing, so when we go out today nothing but confidence okay, Gigi, as long as you put on I Think soccer has some really unique and powerful Embedded learnings that not every other sport has one It’s a team sport so that in and of itself you’re able to build a lot of interpersonal skills And we talked about how important social capital is well This is out of a microcosm where you get to interact with Authority you get to interact with success and failure and your your role within the team When you’re on the soccer field with somebody you just get to sort of see them for who they are You get to see their personality and the way they play dribble. Laila. Go go go go your soccer is owned by the players there’s so much ownership and decision-making that happens in a game that really develops those pathways for players to be able to Decide, you know do I pass do I defend how hard am I gonna work? We don’t have to go from the game Necessarily to the classroom to learn the life skills. The life skills are happening on the field every day. I Think in Baltimore, we do a pretty good job at staying focused on what our goal is for these students whether it be getting them to be a part of a team whether it be Them graduating high school and then going on to college. We just focus on what they want to achieve I know that we didn’t win that game Right, but the attitudes that you guys had in the beginning of the game were much better And that’s what I wanted to see you for the rest of the games We as a team. We only want people on the field who are not going to give up on each other We see each person for who they are This is a person who has had this circumstance, which is not their fault we serve kids they have no control over the situation that they find themselves in and where they’re coming from so just to see that this is a person with potential with Dreams and goals and that ability to dream to be able to give kids a chance to be kids. Despite the fact that a Lot of their childhood has already been disrupted This is about shared humanity. This is about people and their potential and They’re gifts and who they’re gonna be come together on three one, two, three You

Antonio Breitenberg

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1 thought on “Soccer Without Borders

  1. Football for Humanity Foundation says:

    Beautiful

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