Soccer Without Borders is honored to welcome Ana Cate and Giorgio Chiellini to our team in Nicaragua. Ana Cate is a member of the Nicaraguan Women's National Team and Stjarnan of the Icelandic Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Giorgio Chiellini is a defender with Juventus FC in Italy and a member of the Italian Men's National Team. Both players are members of Common Goal, a worldwide movement started by Juan Mata of Manchester United and streetfootballworld's Jurgen Griesbeck working to unite the world of football behind a shared social vision.
Ana and Giorgio are teaming up with Soccer Without Borders in Nicaragua around the shared vision of Gender Equality. Girls in Nicaragua face tremendous challenges: 28% are pregnant by age 18, 52% do not complete primary school, and many have limited social and educational opportunities due to responsibilities in the home. The chance to become engaged and educated members of society is slim; there are obstacles at every turn. While sport and sports teams have been proven to address these challenges, particularly with girls, 90% of girls in Nicaragua report barriers to participation, and just 13% report playing sports, formally or informally (PAHO).
Our program in Nicaragua gives girls the social, educational, and economic support they need to overcome obstacles to success and achieve their personal goals. The team atmosphere provides a network of caring peers and mentors that inspires each girl to stay enrolled in school, avoid risky behaviors, and make healthy choices. Girls earn participation points that are exchanged for school supplies & uniforms, shoes, and equipment, and can qualify for primary, secondary, and university scholarships through positive participation. Now in its 11th year, Fútbol Sin Fronteras Granada (Soccer Without Borders in Spanish) has reached thousands of girls ages 6-20, and currently operates with 9 year-round teams, a 10 team school league, weekly gym classes, more than 30 primary and secondary school scholarships, 4 university scholarships, 2 week-long camps, and an annual Peace Cup in Granada as well as camps and clinics across the country. The program has achieved a 96% academic advancement rate, supporting participants to reach their full potential on the field, in the classroom, and in their careers.
Through Common Goal, members of the professional football community are pledging 1% of their salary to social change efforts globally. We are thrilled to have Ana and Giorgio join our team!