Living as an adolescent girl in much of the world means facing the life-changing realities of early marriage, premature pregnancy, denial of education (especially secondary school), social isolation, female genital mutilation, and other forms of gender-based violence. The global game has the power to influence perceptions and unlock pathways to gender equality like no other force in the world.
At Soccer Without Borders, we have reached over 10,000 girls from over 50 countries of origin. Our year-round programs maintain between 30-40% girls participation each year, more triple the global average of 10% female participation (FIFA). We prioritize female role models in our coaching staff, and model gender equality at all levels of leadership.
Refugee & Asylee Youth
The global displacement crisis has topped 70 million people; it is one of the most urgent social issues of our generation. Refugee and asylum-seeking youth are fleeing some of the world's most challenging and protracted conflicts, seeking safety, stability, and opportunities to build new home.
Soccer can be a home. Soccer Without Borders serves youth from 68 countries of origin speaking 54 distinct languages. Our evidence-based program design and trauma-informed coaching strategies create a space of healing, of belonging, and of new beginnings.
English Language Learners
Across the United States, the educational system is struggling to meet the needs of English Language Learning (ELL) students. In the states where Soccer Without Borders has programs, ELLs graduate high school at a rate of just 61%. In Uganda, youth who don't speak English can't access public education at all. Research tells us that English Language skills are essential to economic success, and that movement is linked to improved language acquisition and memory. ELL youth often lack the confidence and support to build these skills.
At Soccer Without Borders, Practice English is one of our 5 rules. We create a safe environment where yout are motivated to learn new words, seek help, and build confidence that can only come from practice. We integrate English language learning into our coaching, practice designs, and soccer activities, while also providing direct English language support off the field, as resources allow. These supports contribute to a 95% average graduation rate for regular SWB participants.