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  • Soccer Without Borders

Finding Home: The SWB Mural Project

The new mural adorning the side of SWB headquarters in Baltimore.

We are thrilled to announce the completion of the SWB Mural Project, a significant milestone in our journey towards creating a welcoming and inclusive space for newcomer refugee and immigrant youth. Situated at our cherished space on 3700 Eastern Ave, the mural stands as a symbol of growth, resilience, and empowerment—a home for those seeking belonging.

The SWB Mural Project, made possible by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, is the culmination of a deliberate and inclusive planning process, which began last year with the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 31st, 2023. Full-time staff from all hubs converged to mark this special moment, symbolically unveiling a sanctuary—a home for newcomer refugee and immigrant youth seeking belonging. This journey has been marked by strategic moves and a steadfast commitment to inclusivity, with each step purposefully creating safe spaces for our community.

Embedded within this journey is the SWB Mural Project, an artistic endeavor that extends beyond mere strokes of paint on a wall. It's a visual testament to the stories of transformation, leadership, and resilience that echo within the SWB community. Semira, an alumna of SWB, beautifully captured the essence of this space: "It feels like home. Even though I'm an alumna and out of the program, I keep coming back because I like the space. Coming back makes me feel like I am still a part of this program. I want to remain as involved as possible and even work here."

Throughout the planning process, facilitated by Ryan Gitonga, SWB Maryland’s Sr. Coordinator who hails from Kenya himself, created space for youth to actively contribute at every stage, from submitting drawings and ideas for the mural to reviewing and selecting the artists’ proposals. From lively art walks to spirited tournaments, each event became an opportunity for dialogue, connection, and shared vision. Together, we painted not just a mural but a collective narrative of hope, resilience, and belonging, with the community becoming co-authors of the mural, infusing it with their stories and aspirations.

As the final brushstrokes were added to the mural, we stand on the cusp of a new chapter, where the intersection of sports and art becomes a beacon of hope and possibility for all who pass by. The SWB Mural is more than a piece of artwork; it's a testament to the power of community, resilience, and collective action. It symbolizes the unwavering commitment of SWB to create spaces where youth can not only access resources for their future but also grow, thrive, and find a true sense of home.

In essence, the SWB Mural Project is a visual representation of the journey that SWB and its community have embarked upon—a journey of growth, inclusion, and empowerment. The mural stands as a reminder of the transformative power of sport, art and community in shaping a brighter future for all.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rowan Bathurst for her incredible talent and dedication in bringing our vision to life. To learn more about her work, visit her website


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