Soccer Without Borders
Rating: 5 stars 17 17 reviews 664
Children & Youth, Human Services, Immigration, International, Sports, International Exchange
9 Waterhouse St. Cambridge MA 02138 USA
Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success.
In the past year, SWB has worked with 1200 youth from 43 countries at core, seasonal and camp programs. Additionally, SWB engaged 1500 youth through outreach and one-day events. SWB’s mission of facilitating growth, inclusion and personal success for newcomer youth is made possible by the quantity of direct hours invested at our programs (average core participants spend 12-15 hours/week with SWB). That depth of programming creates a team environment where youth can experience: Growth 85% of core participants surveyed agree that because of coming to SWB they feel more comfortable expressing themselves 83% of core participants surveyed agree that because of coming to SWB they make healthier choices Inclusion 92% of core participants surveyed agree that because of coming to SWB they feel more comfortable around people who are different from them and 94% agree that because of SWB they had made new friends Personal Success In 2012, 67% of middle schoolers and 86.7% of high schoolers improved their grades at SWB Baltimore. In the same year, 47.6% of participants qualified for their schools’ honor roll. Since 2007, 94% of regular SWB USA participants have graduated high school compared to the national average of 60%.
SWB USA creates positive team communities for newcomer refugee, asylee and immigrant youth. Each year, close to 80,000 refugees and 500,000 immigrants arrive in the US seeking peace and a chance for a better future. Newcomer youth are one of the most vulnerable populations in the seven US cities where SWB programs operate. Not only are these youth navigating a new culture and language, their often-traumatic backgrounds create significant barriers to traditional models of academic and social “success.” The difficulty of integration is compounded by many unfortunate social realities that exist in the communities where SWB programs operate. The combination of poverty, urban violence, and cultural isolation lead many newcomer to youth to feel hopeless, with a National school drop-out rate of more than 40%. SWB International focuses on engaging populations that are traditionally excluded or marginalized, with a particular emphasis on engaging girls.
Direct beneficiaries per year:
Geographic areas served:
USA: Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Greeley, CO; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CAI nternational: Granada, Nicaragua; Kampala, UgandaPast Programs in: Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, South Africa, Zambia
USA: Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Greeley, CO; Oakland, CA International: Granada, Nicaragua; Kampala, Uganda Past Programs in: Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, South Africa, Zambia, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles
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Reviews for Soccer Without Borders
No words can describe how incredible this experience has been. I will hopefully continue to be a part of this amazing program because it carries so much greatness. Not only do you become a part of a program that gives hope, attention, love, etc. to young girls but those young girls also give you all those things and more. I am so thankful I found Soccer Without Borders.
Going into this program I had no idea what to expect, but when I arrived in Granada I soon realized that my one week stay was going to be better than I had ever hoped. The love the girls had for the program was like nothing I had ever seen before and it was easy to tell how much Soccer Without Borders meant to them. All of the staff and girls welcomed me with open arms and the dedication of the staff was amazing. My experience with SWB opened my eyes and when I arrived back in the U.S. after only one week with the organization, I felt like a completely changed person. I cannot think of the past summer without reminiscing of this amazing experience.
Soccer Without Borders is an incredible charity that benefits anyone who comes in contact with the organization. Soccer has the power to bring people of all backgrounds together. Soccer Without Borders is a well organized program. In Nicaragua, the head directors and coaches are very passionate about the program and work extremely hard to make sure all the girls have everything they need. As a volunteer, I was able to learn more about the Nicaraguan culture and experience the girls passion to play. It was an incredible experience and I recommend getting involved with this charity in any way possible.
I happened to stumble upon a Soccer Without Borders application when a teammate told me that she had applied in the previous month. I applied for the program not knowing that this program would lead to an experience that would have a lasting impact on my life. I embarked on my first international journey and I am so happy that it was to Granada, Nicaragua. The hidden beauty in the houses, streets, culture, and people there have stole my heart and make me want to go back very soon. After returning to the states, that was when I realized how many girls I inspired on my trip. I would recommend Soccer Without Borders to everyone and anyone.
The dedication of the Soccer Without Borders staff never ceases to amaze me. They truly believe in the power of their work to affect change, and that conviction leads to success, on the field and off!
My roommate currently works for SWB. She was a prior volunteer with the Uganda program after she graduated college. Since then, I have witnessed all the hard work she has put in to making SWB as successful as possible. Over the past few years, I have met the staff of SWB and many of their program participants. I have also attended numerous fundraising and award functions. Everyone I have met in the process is an inspiration. It is amazing to see soccer bring together such a diverse group of people.
I've been able to work with Soccer Without Borders on multiple occasions. I've been to the Nicaragua program for a short time during two summers, and I was with the Uganda program for a total of about 12 months. Both programs are doing incredible things for both kids and adults, all through the power of sport. I'm more familiar with the Uganda program, so I will speak a little about it. The SWB program in Uganda works most heavily with refugees. The lack of affordable access to education for refugees in Uganda lands many of them on the streets or with nothing to do at home. SWB Uganda provides a safe place for kids to not only go during the day, but learn and thrive as well. These students who have just recently fled their home country, suddenly feel at home and like they are part of a team and community again. The power of soccer to pull in these kids and families from Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, Uganda, and more is incredible. They, who may never have crossed paths unless due to conflict between countries, are now lifelong friends and teammates, all because of the power of sport. SWB Uganda is doing intangible work for both the refugees in the Kampala area and the local community itself, by bringing people together through education and sport.
I was connected to Soccer Without Borders in 2011. Since then I have had the chance to visit their Nicaragua and Boston programs and work with a variety of coaches, program staff, kids, and families. The program supports communities in a holistic way that provides opportunities to matter and get involved, along with the additional social services that are vital to the success of newcomer families and youth, along with girls (who so rarely get the chance to play sports, especially abroad).
I have been volunteering for Soccer Without Borders for about 2 years as a coach now and have coached various age groups and teams. I started with the elementary school program, then coached the U14 girls and am now coaching the U12 boys.
Throughout my time coaching I noticed how this program is really making a difference in East Boston. The kids are becoming more integrated, engaged, and confident. Not only on the field but also off the field.
The Boston office is run by a group of awesome, organized, and enthusiastic people who have become dear friends of mine. Volunteers are being well prepared for the coaching seasons and regular feedback and brainstorming sessions help improve the experience.
Coaching kids is both challenging and incredibly rewarding. You learn a lot, not only about the kids but also about yourself. I can only recommend to anyone who has even the slightest interest in soccer to volunteer for such a great organization like Soccer Without Borders!
I first volunteered for SWB in January 2010 and then interned with SWB for the 2010-2011 year in Nicaragua. I worked for SWB again from 2012-2013 in Nicaragua as the local director and then finished my time with the org in Boston, MA from 2013-2015. If my track record does not speak for itself, I love SWB and I believe in its mission. It is a thoughtful organization that identifies real community needs and provides support for underserved kids and their families so that they can overcome obstacles to growth and success. They are doing incredible work to enrich the communities where they work and growalongside the community participants and their families.