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Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua

by Soccer Without Borders
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
SWB staff and board members in Lyon, France
SWB staff and board members in Lyon, France

While the momentum surrounding the women’s game began well before the World Cup, the energy generated by the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Lyon, France has lasted well past the end of the final match. Conversations about equal pay, resource allocation, advocacy, and football as a tool for social change have continued on a global scale as well as among staff at FSF Nicaragua. 

In this moment focused on the Women’s World Cup, FSF leaders joined the global football community to elevate gender equity and inclusion within and outside of the sport. In France, Veronica Balladares, Co-Director of Fútbol Sin Fronteras Nicaragua, joined the Equality Summit hosted by streetfootballworld to share her expertise and experience in growing SWB's only all-girls program. The summit, which aimed to bring together football-for-good organizations and leaders in gender equity also provided significant opportunities for learning and network building.

In her more than 10 years with FSF, Veronica has been crucial to the expansion of FSF from building new girls’ teams, to investing in youth leadership pipelines, and developing academic advancement pathways where previously none existed. The opportunity to share and engage with peers from across the globe was energizing shared Balladares, "It is the first time that I am in France, and this festival helps to meet more people from the same network and to be able to continue working and growing through football. It is exciting to be at a Women's World Cup—you look at people and fans and its exciting how people support women's football, their teams.”

Meanwhile in Hightstown, New Jersey Lisbeth Calderon, FSF’s Education Coordinator, was also representing FSF in the conversation around gender equity. Through a collaboration with the US Embassy in Nicaragua and FHI360, Lisbeth led a delegation of 5 young female athletes from across the country in representing Nicaragua both on and off the field as a part of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. During their time in the U.S., the delegation took part in workshops focused on cultural and peer exchange, gender equity and women’s rights, as well as the development of their own leadership skills before stepping onto the pitch for a week-long of football camp. 

As a part of JFSLA, the Nicaraguan delegation joined more than 60 players and coaches from over 12 additional countries to celebrate gender equity, using their respective sports as the medium for conversation and reflection. "I consider these types of events to be very important, it is an opportunity to meet people and cultures and be able to share through sport. [We are able to] leave the barriers of language and culture and connect through our love for the sport,” shared Calderon, “Through this experience, I will have the opportunity to share with my coworkers some of the strategies I gained and use them in each of our training sessions."

With these experiences, comes an opportunity for FSF to continue to collaborate within and outside of Nicaragua to advance girls and women’s football across Latin America. As we build upon the conversations and connections made in Lyon, we will also be working again with the JFSLA Nicaraguan delegation members to support their development as coaches and advocates within local communities.

SWB joins the conversations in Lyon, France
SWB joins the conversations in Lyon, France
Players & coaches at JFSLA
Players & coaches at JFSLA
Lisbeth & members of the Nicaragua delegation
Lisbeth & members of the Nicaragua delegation

Links:

Players from Granada, Laguna, Fortin, and Modrono
Players from Granada, Laguna, Fortin, and Modrono

Today is the last chance to cast your vote for FSF in the Girl Fund Challenge! With your support, Fútbol Sin Fronteras is holding strong in 9th place having already raised more than $6000 from more than 150 votes! With just 12 hours left to go, we are setting our sights on breaking into the top 4 and unlocking critical funding for the rest of 2019 in the process. A donation of any size made before before 11:59pm EST today counts as a vote. With a team effort, we can get there!

Over the past 11 years, your support for breaking barriers for girls has enabled FSF to both sustain and consistently grow our programming. As we enter the next decade of FSF, we will continue to expand both the depth and breadth of our program in order to welcome more girls from the greater-Granada area into our community. Already in 2019, we grew our annual T.E.A.M. Camp, supporting more than 60 new players and youth coaches from la Laguna, el Fortín, and el Modroño to participate in the week’s events. Through regular from our dedicated team of coach-mentors, program alumni, and youth leaders,FSF is facilitating consistent training sessions in each community and supporting their participation in this year’s leagues, tournaments, camps, and special events. Our work with a Laguna, el Fortín, and el Modroño draws heavily from our experience in creating La Villa’s program and will lay the foundations for establishing 3 additional satellite sites and welcoming 6 new teams into a regional girls' league by the year 2023.

Thank you for your dedication to providing continued soccer, educational, and leadership opportunities for young women and girls in Granada and beyond! 

2019 TEAM Camp staff
2019 TEAM Camp staff

Links:

And we're off... the Girl Fund Challenge has officially begun!

Last year, you rallied behind Fútbol Sin Fronteras (Soccer Without Borders) to celebrate a decade of impact and earn a place in the Girl Fund. Your efforts provided the crucial financial support that enabled us to serve girls in Nicaragua through daily on and off field programming, educational support and scholarships, leadership development, and mentoring. Since then, the program has continued to its work against a backdrop of a challenging and unstable context.

From now until March 14th, we are competing to maintain our place in the Girl Fund and we need your support to get there! We hope to get as many people as possible to cast a vote with a donation of any size. The program with the most unique donors in the next two weeks will win a spot in the Girl Fund, unlocking up to an additional $15,000 to sustain and expand our programming in the coming year.

If all 519 of our supporters who gave last year vote again with a donation we will be off to an incredible start and well on our way to funding our goal of expanding into 3 new communities and establishing 6 new teams in the Granada region. If you're feeling competitive with us, please consider making a $10 donation today and finding at least one more teammate to give!

Thank you for your support and dedication to continuing to break barriers for girls throughout Nicaragua!

Links:

Friends of Fútbol Sin Fronteras Granada,

2018 was a memorable year for us in Nicaragua: we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our program, expanded our reach to the Caribbean Coast, and strengthened our alumnae coach pipeline. Over the course of 2018, 275 girls in Granada regularly participated in FSF which offered 2,600 hours of daily programming through more than 1,000 events. More than 2,300 additional youth were reached through events hosted by FSF including camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments, and school visits.

As 2018 comes to to a close, we are excited to celebrate all of the memorable moments from the past year that have had an impact for both our participants and program. These advances happened against a backdrop of political turmoil and protests that caused widespread unrest and led to economic consequences that affect many of our families. We are grateful for your support throughout these ups and downs, rallying behind our anniversary to propel us to win the GlobalGiving Girl Fund Challenge, and sending thoughtful messages during the subsequent protests and civil unrest. In facing these challenges, our team has continued to provide consistent programming and access to the safe space of SWB's center with few interruptions. 

To celebrate, we have put together a list of highlights from the past year—available in English and Spanish—to share with you all. All of these milestones were possible thanks to the ongoing support of you, our community, and your dedication to growing the game for women and girls.  

This holiday season, please consider making a donation to #PlayItForward and support our goals in 2019, which include reaching more girls in the outskirts of Granada, continuing to develop our central program on and off the field, and strengthening our leadership development program. Thank you for your support!

With gratitude,
    —The FSF Team

Links:

FSF
FSF's new office

As the only building that stands three floors high on Calle Santa Lucia, or even in the surrounding area, 'La Casa de Tres Pisos' (The house with 3 floors) is often the only description you need to provide when telling someone how to find the Fútbol Sin Fronteras community center. As one walks down the colorful streets of Santa Lucia, Tres Pisos truly stands out... if not for its height than for the buzz of excited teams and coaches laughing and shouting and the sound of soccer balls being juggled in front of the building. Through the years this tall, thin building has become an icon of the program and home to locals and visitors alike.

After many years in the now famous Tres Pisos, FSF made the move earlier this month to a new and improved building - this time to una casa con dos pisos (a house with two floors)! With the move to a new space comes the opportunity to provide more resources to both our players and staff. In our new home, there are 9 separate rooms that will be utilized as offices and meeting spaces for our coaches and program coordinators, storage space for our growing teams, quiet study spaces for academic support hours, and more facilities and bathrooms available for players changing into soccer gear before heading to the pitch. The building, which previously served as a hotel, even has a courtyard that our program has quickly begun to utilize as a space for team building activities and larger community events.

Amid this exciting development for Fútbol Sin Fronteras and the bustle of our ongoing programming is the larger context of the current situation in Nicaragua and the tremendous impact it has had, particularly on young people across the country. In this context, and thanks to the efforts of our mentor-coaches, FSF has made adjustments to program schedules so that we are able to continue to provide consistent support to our players and the football community within Granada. Crucial to providing that stability and consistency for our players is ongoing access to a safe, secure, girls-only space. Although we’ll be leaving the old murals of Tres Pisos behind and trading in three floors for two, we are excited to bring the community and sense of family that is Fútbol Sin Fronteras—Granada into our new home just a few more doors down Calle Santa Lucia.

La Casa de Tres Pisos
La Casa de Tres Pisos
FSF Juniors & Seniors in front of Tres Pisos
FSF Juniors & Seniors in front of Tres Pisos

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Soccer Without Borders

Location: Cambridge, MA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Mary McVeigh
Cambridge, MA United States
$65,533 raised of $75,000 goal
 
2,178 donations
$9,467 to go
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