Soccer Without Borders

Mission: Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under served youth a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. Core Values: Focus on the Whole Person: SWB believes in a whole-person approach. Our programs help young people come into a greater understanding of their bodies, minds, and voices, creating avenues toward individual growth, new opportunities, and the achievement of personal goals. Authenticity: Soccer Without Borders gives voice and value to the ideas of local leaders. In addition to imported human, physical, and intellectual resources, SWB mobilizes local expertise, empowering and employing resident expe...

Soccer Without Borders
9 Waterhouse St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
510-859-4874
http://www.soccerwithoutborders.org
 BRIDGE Number: 4409582717

Executive Director

Mary McVeigh

Management Team

Benjamin L Gucciardi, Mary R McVeigh

Board of Directors

Zoey Bouchelle, Benjamin L Gucciardi, Michael Sack, Skye DeLano, Mary R McVeigh, Ryan Hawke, Lucas Richardson, Tammy Reder, Charlie Bustin, Gillian Cassell-Stiga

Project Leaders

Mary McVeigh

Mission

Mission: Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under served youth a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. Core Values: Focus on the Whole Person: SWB believes in a whole-person approach. Our programs help young people come into a greater understanding of their bodies, minds, and voices, creating avenues toward individual growth, new opportunities, and the achievement of personal goals. Authenticity: Soccer Without Borders gives voice and value to the ideas of local leaders. In addition to imported human, physical, and intellectual resources, SWB mobilizes local expertise, empowering and employing resident experts to educate from within the community. In every program, SWB places immediate priority on creating an environment of ownership and investment among local staff, providing on and off field training, leadership opportunities and formal employment. SWB implements a three-step process; also known as the SWB Way, to ensure programming is authentic and responsive to local needs. Every SWB program is devoted to this process. Below are the three essential elements of each step: 1. Engage youth and their communities through soccer teams. 2. Collaborate with youth families, schools, and community leaders to identify obstacles facing youth and to set meaningful/measurable goals 3. Realize Provide consistent on and off field programming that supports youth to realize healthy bodies, active minds and confident voices. Process-oriented: SWB believes that the process is often more important than the outcome. SWB leadership, participants and families commit to uphold process-oriented values that create a culture of acceptance, an inclusive environment, and supported progress toward goals. Goals: The goals SWB has for its participants range depending on the span of time a participant has been involved in programming. Over the short to mid term, SWB anticipates that through regular and positive attendance a participant will grow in each of the five following areas: competence, compassion, character, connection, and confidence. In competence, a participant will improve basic soccer skills, be able to set personal and team goals, and have the information needed to avoid major risks. In the area of compassion, each youth will participate in one community service project per season, each participant will welcome and support their teammates, and each participant will learn how to work well with others. In character, each participant is asked to sign and abide by a team contract that outlines guidelines for mutual respect. In the area of connection, each participant will establish a relationship with at least one adult, each participant will make new friends and become part of a supportive peer group, and each participant has expanded access to community resources. Lastly, in the area of confidence, each participant will regularly receive positive feedback, each participant will be able to articulate their positive attributes and personal priorities and each participant can lead or speak in front of a group. When a participant takes part in SWB programming over the short and mid term (1-3 years) and reaches the five above mentioned areas, the goal is that over the long-term each participant will have the skills and abilities necessary to experience growth, inclusion and personal success in their respective community. In the Nicaragua site, T.E.A.M. (Trabajando en Equipo Aprendemos Mas) Granada, the mission, core values and goals of the organization are the same as those already mentioned. The Granada site differs from many other SWB sites in that it works exclusively with girls to promote each participants growth in the areas of competence, compassion, character, connection, and confidence. Throughout Nicaragua girls are afforded very few opportunities to engage in communities outside of their homes, schools and churches. T.E.A.M. Granada exists to provide girls with recreational and extracurricular opportunities that are not otherwise available and in doing so provides them with a support network of mentors and peers that they may not encounter elsewhere. The main draw of SWB for program youth is to provide them with an identity they can take pride in and an identity that they can rely on for support as they work to grow as leaders, meet their personal goals and rewrite the pervasive machismo that exists in their home country.

Programs

Soccer Without Borders conducts programming both within the United States and internationally. Target groups vary according to each site's location, with an emphasis on providing programming to youth traditionally excluded from recreational and educational opportunities. By definition, every SWB participant is under-resourced, and faces different degrees of social, economic, and political marginalization. Due to the fact that geography, resources and local infrastructure vary according to each site, SWB has created three categories to better describe the range of programming. These categories are core, seasonal and camp programs. Each of these programs combine soccer and off-field opportunities for participants. Core programs are the most comprehensive in each of the essential areas, operating year-round on and off the field. Core programs include 3-5 sessions per week that last at least 90 minutes per session for over 40 weeks per year. To date, Granada, Nicaragua; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore City, MD, USA; and Kampala, Uganda are core programs. SWB Seasonal programs are less comprehensive than core programs, but still include all essential program components. The key difference lies in year-round consistency; due to location specific factors and resources, seasonal programs do not offer year-round program activities. Seasonal programs include 1-2 sessions per week that last at least 90 minutes per session for at least 26 weeks per year. To date seasonal programs include New York City, New York, USA and Solola, Guatemala. SWB Camps support Core and Seasonal programs and/or exist independently as short-term initiatives. Camps offer condensed, intensive versions of SWB curricula. Camps include over 12 hours of intensive activities in one week. The summer of 2011, camp programs expanded from two domestic camps and one international to five domestic (Oakland, CA, USA; San Jose, CA, USA; Los Angeles, CA, USA) and three international (Granada, Nicaragua; Santa Ana, El Salvador, and Cairo, Egypt). Sessions within camp include both on and off-field activities. Both our on-field and off-field activities are critical to SWB programming. Off-field programming includes team building activities, workshops/lessons, civic engagement opportunities, and cultural exchanges. Team building activities range from icebreakers and name games to dynamic warm-ups and obstacle courses. Each activity promotes team cohesion and offers a safe space for youth participants to feel confident and comfortable engaging. Central to our off-field programming, workshops and lessons are theme-based and vary by season and program site. Local leaders and SWB USA collaborate on themes that are the most culturally relevant and age appropriate. Often, workshops are presented by local leaders who have expertise to share with program youth. Community engagement is a priority in every program site. Past activities include mural painting over a graffiti-ridden school in Oakland, CA, USA; planting trees and cleaning up garbage to ameliorate playing fields in Granada, Nicaragua; leading "Girls for a Change" curriculum and prioritizing education through initiatives at local schools in Kampala, Uganda. Lastly, integral to SWB and reflective of program priorities, SWB offers a variety of cultural exchange opportunities. An example from an international site of these cultural exchange opportunities is the T.E.A.M. Granada Camp, which brings student-athletes, professors, and community activists from the United States and abroad, to coach and lead activities during a weeklong camp for program participants. During this week, exposure to different cultures is equally valuable to the U.S. volunteers and local participants. A second camp that occurs in Granada, Nicaragua is the Sports Based Youth Development Exchange program between U.S. High School Students and youth leaders and program participants. Lastly, in Nicaragua, a partnership between the American Nicaragua School in Managua and SWB facilitates has emerged to develop an intracultural exchange between different worlds existing side by side in Nicaragua. Domestically, in Oakland, CA, USA, the Oakland Unified School District contracts SWB to host summer camps for its population of diverse refugee youth, including those who already participate in SWB programs and others recruited for summer engagement. The camps facilitate cultural exchanges between and among camp participants, youth leaders from within and outside of Oakland, CA, USA, and program staff. On field programming varies according to site. All sites have weekly soccer practices and depending on local resources and infrastructure, youth compete in seasonal soccer leagues, play in small-sided tournaments and participate in the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth. T.E.A.M. Granada is a core program. On site there are currently five Nicaraguan staff members and three American long-term volunteers that collaborate with SWB USA to create programming for the three age groups, Las Mariposas (7-10 year olds, las Estrellas (11-15 year olds) and the Nicoyas (16-19 year olds). SWB Granada offers 2-3 practices per week, depending on the age group, and two activity nights in our community center per week. Additionally homework hours are available to every participant before the activity nights and multiple workshops each season. Seasons begin with an official registration session, goal writing and contract signing by the participants. At the conclusion of the season participants revisit the individual and team goals they made at the beginning of the season with their coaching staff. Three camps per year occur at the Granada, Nicaragua site in which international volunteers and student-athletes come to Granada to infuse energy and resources into the program and partake in cultural exchange. On the field, each team participates in multiple small-sided games and the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth. The two older teams also play in a predominantly male youth soccer league in the city.

Statistics on Soccer Without Borders

   

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