Yesterday, I got a Tweet from @Alyssa_Milano reminding me that, “Before the #WorldCup is won, 100k Africans will die from malaria.” She encouraged me to, “Join players & fans: http://bit.ly/WC_a_m6 #endmalaria.”
The link clicks through to the United Nation’s “Unite Against Malaria” Facebook page.
This was quite timely, as the Tweet came through just as I was creating GlobalGiving’s World Cup landing page, featuring projects related to soccer.
Not long after, Tobias Eigen, President of Kabissa, an organization that bolsters civil society in Africa, sent out a message asking everyone what they were doing to leverage the World Cup in their awareness-raising and social change efforts in Africa.
Indeed, when it comes to this kind of thinking about how to leverage this year’s World Cup for good, it seems everyone is on the ball. (Pun intended, but with apologies nonetheless.)
It’s 10 a.m. on the day the World Cup is launching, and, in addition to those above, I’ve already seen Tweets or emails linking the World Cup to issues of global awareness and social action from @growingupglobal and even @usaid, and, of course, @peacecorpsconnect.
It’s fun and exciting to see an international sports platform being used in such creative, inventive ways to draw attention to issues which are less fun, but even more important than a soccer game, such as malaria, poverty alleviation, and HIV/AIDS.
The projects GlobalGiving is featuring on our World Cup landing page drive this home.
In just the sampling of projects we feature that tie to soccer, the issues being tackled include using soccer to help inmates in South African prisons reintegrate into society, reducing stigmas associated with amputees in Sierra Leone through amputee soccer, providing soccer as recreation for children in a refugee camp in Rafah, and using soccer as a means to build leadership and self-esteem for military daughters in the U.S.
Those are just a few of the ways that GlobalGiving projects are using soccer to create social change for people around the world. (Here’s the full list.)
We’re looking forward to seeing how the World Cup is used to fuel awareness of and support for projects and issues like these as much as we’re looking forward to the matches themselves.
And trust us, we’re really excited about the matches.