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  • Soccer Without Borders

Soccer Without Borders Featured in Laureus Article

Soccer Without Borders (SWB) Founder and Oakland Program Director Ben Gucciardi and SWB Co-Founder and Executive Director Mary Conner were interviewed for a feature article by Laureus, an SWB partner organization dedicated to changing the world through the power of sport.

The article, "Soccer Without Borders: How the world's most popular sport is helping displaced refugee youth find home in America", was published in the midst of a free virtual Workshop Series about how to use soccer to support Afghan newcomers. The Workshop Series was developed by SWB Assist, a new initiative designed to implement responsive programming and develop shareable tools which will help partners achieve their goals for social inclusion and gender equity.

The article provides insight into the opportunities and challenges faced by newcomers in the United States and how soccer can be an essential vehicle in support of resettlement and integration. In a section discussing SWB's desire to share what its learned in 15 years of working with newcomer populations, the article quotes Mary Connor sharing how there is "'a growing body of evidence that intentionally designed sports spaces can act as a healing space for children who have experienced trauma.'" Connor goes on:

“When there is an acute refugee displacement crisis, people immediately think of food, shelter, and clothing...While there are many organizations in America which already support in those areas, what we’re advocating for is the space where children can have fun and experience community. And sport is becoming an important part of this mosaic of services."


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