SWB Baltimore, MD, USA is an SWB core program.
Program Background: Soccer Without Borders Baltimore City began in the fall of 2009 in response to various state, local, and non-profit agencies that serve the city’s burgeoning refugee population identifying a need for positive recreational programming for area refugee youth. In response, SWB Baltimore emerged to provide opportunities in the form of soccer, simultaneously encouraging healthy living while developing English-language abilities, teamwork, academic success, and cross-cultural skills.
Program Description: SWB Baltimore’s mission is to use soccer to promote positive change. We do this by providing refugee, asylee, and immigrant youth with a toolkit that they can use to overcome obstacles that might otherwise inhibit growth, inclusion, and success. We utilize the global power of soccer to create positive life changes through five key programming areas: soccer play and instruction, off-field lessons and academic tutoring, civic engagement, team building, and cultural exchange. Currently SWB Baltimore serves middle-school and high-school students. The student-athletes who make up the program have recently arrived to Baltimore City from a variety of countries, including but not limited to, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Rwanda, DRC, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Mexico, Sudan, Guinea, Iraq, Bhutan, and Nepal. While these young people come from diverse backgrounds, they share a passion for soccer and a genuine interest in and desire to engage with their new surroundings. Few of these kids have ever played organized soccer or had their own equipment or proper coaching. In addition to regular programming, participants have the opportunity to enjoy special events such as college visits, summer camp, conferences and trainings, and outings to watch college and professional soccer games.
- "Game On" (Baltimore's Child, December 2013)
- "Open Society Institute's Social Justice Laboratory in Baltimore Turns 15" (The Baltimore Sun, October 2013)
- "More Than Just Soccer" (Impact Series, Open Society Institute - Baltimore, September 2013)
- "Goal! Soccer Without Borders Helps Refugee Realize His Dreams" (Loyola Univ. MD Magazine, September 2013
- "Baltimore Student Realizes Dream" (Page 6, Urban Educator Newsletter, June/July 2013)
- "Loyola and Men's Soccer Program Receive Community Partner Award" (LoyolaGreyhounds.com, June 2013)
- "Safety Net: Soccer Without Borders Helps Refugee Boys Adapt to Life in Baltimore" (Baltimore Magazine, May 2013)
- Heman Rai (Nepal) writes of his experiences as a Soccer Without Borders Baltimore student-athlete (Audacious Ideas Blog, Open Society Institute - Baltimore, May 2013)
- "Welcoming New Americans" (Audacious Ideas Blog, Open Society Institute - Baltimore, November 2012)
- "Welcome to America -- Presentation by SWB Baltimore's Jill Pardini" (Ignite Baltimore Conference, October 2012)
- "Soccer Without Borders" (Brian Schneider Photography Blog, October 2012)
- "Soccer Without Borders" (The Marc Steiner Show, WEAA, June 2012)
- "Making Baltimore Home for Refugees" (Baltimore Sun, June 2012)
- "The Games People Play and Why Sports Matter" (The Urbanite, June 2012)
- "Everyday Heroes: Soccer Without Borders" (Baltimore City Council President's Newsletter, December 2011)
- Open Society Foundations Fellow Jill Pardini and SWB Baltimore (Open Society Foundations, November 2011)
- "Waverly Woman Coaches Soccer Team of Refugee Children" (Baltimore Sun, September 2011)
- "Starting from Scratch: Refugees Rebuild Lives in Baltimore" (WYPR, Baltimore NPR affiliate, audio)