Monday, November 02, 2009

Football to Inspire

Football, or soccer, is now being used both as a way to teach children about social problems and provide a safe place for them to stay out of drugs and crime. Football for Hope is an organization put together by FIFA and streetfootballworld to try and to use this favorite world pass time to install social lessons into impoverished youth. They are doing this by using football drills as a tool to teach the lessons. One drill consists of dribbling the ball between cones, where the cones represent different risks of unsafe sex or having multiple partners. If the kids hit a cone they have to do push ups, and if they do it again they all have to do push ups. The goal is to teach that your actions not only have consequences to your life, but to others' as well. The drills vary from AIDS prevention, gang violence, how to brush your teeth and team work. This project will be promoted at the next World Cup in South Africa. On the field next to the stadium there will be discussions and a football tournament where the players will have to solve their disputes with dialogue and without a referee. 32 organizations are participating, the same number as countries playing in the real Cup. These organizations represent the fight against different social problems like homelessness in London, gang violence in Colombia, landmines in Cambodia and AIDS in South Africa. The enthusiasm that the kids are putting into football is allowing them to learn life lessons as well as stay out of crime and disease.
-Sara Frodge