Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

 

Nightline: Soccer program views goals in more ways than one.

Posted by lisa kays on July 2nd, 2010

As some of you know, in honor of World Cup fever, we’ve been highlighting ways that soccer projects around the world are changing lives.

Last night, Nightline went one better and covered one of those projects in South Africa, providing a great article and video piece on how Academy of Hope in South Africa is helping men in prison re-direct their lives by directing the ball around the soccer field.

As Project Leader Mark Slessenger explains to Nightline, “These guys love football. It’s what they enjoy and soccer is just a way to get the guys out of the gangs. And if a guy loves soccer, he’s willing to leave the gang to come and develop because of his love for the sport.”

The program has a great success rate as well. Of 18 prisoners who have gone through it and been released, the story explains, only two have returned to prison.

Andre Soetwateer participated in the program and was released three months ago, writes Nightline. Working as an electrician, he explains, “It’s very hard, very hard. A lot of friends (are) smoking and using drugs….So for me to come outside out of prison, not doing that, is very hard for me to get in with them and try to communicate with them.”

But, he says, “I’m doing so many good things for people.  I’m so happy.”

Nightline explains that Andre is in good company in beating the odds, as the prison he walked out of–where Academy of Hope’s program is based–is the same one that Nelson Mandela walked out of in 1990.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Nightline continues,  “And soccer was key to the anti-apartheid struggle. It was a league inside the Robben Island prison, where Mandela spent 18 of his years behind bars, that served as a rallying point for the anti-apartheid movement.”

So, the legacy of soccer as a tool for good continues. Score!

Learn more:
Academy of Hope: Hope To Youth In Prison Through Soccer In Africa
GlobalGiving Soccer Projects Around The World
Nightline story: Soccer Saves: Soccer Team Changes Lives At South African Prison

Lisa Kays is GlobalGiving’s Acting Communications Director. She grew up playing soccer and knows firsthand that it’s a force for good in the world.

World Cup inspires seeing soccer/football as mechanism for social change.

Posted by lisa kays on June 11th, 2010

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.

Kicking It Homestyle, Yo.

Posted by alison on June 27th, 2008

Word.

Just a reminder, if you’re looking for some fun this weekend, Landmark’s E Street Cinema in Washington, DC is showing Kicking It, the documentary about the Homeless World Cup.  There are also showtimes in Los Angeles and New York, according to the website.

As Donna and Ted  mentioned earlier this week, this weekend Kastles Stadium will host a free street soccer tournament where 100 players from around the country will compete to represent the United States in the Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, Australia in December.  Bring some sunscreen and we’ll see you there!

Looking to cool off after the game?  E Street Cinema  is only 3 blocks away – check out the movie too!

View Larger Map