Bridging cultures through soccer


Soccer is a sport that is universally loved. It has the potential to bring people together, regardless of where they are from or what they believe. Our goal at OnSide is to use the unique qualities of soccer to learn about people’s lives, cultures, and backgrounds, while they learn about ours, using soccer as the means of achieving this. At OnSide, we also seek to raise awareness about critical issues and advocate on behalf of marginalized communities, using soccer as a tool for education and diplomacy.

OnSide has organized soccer scrimmages amongst refugee kids in the DC area, partnered with several refugee and soccer organizations including IRC, LACES, and the 1 Journey Festival, and launched a fashion activism clothing line. We have also presented OnSide to schools, including Sidwell Friends, and to organizations, including Ashoka, T-Mobile, The Asia Group, and Me/We International. OnSide has also worked in Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan.


My experiences playing this sport and talking about soccer have led me to believe that soccer/football can help form relationships and build bridges between people. No matter your race, religion, color, or socioeconomic background, a shared love for this sport can instantly make connections and start friendships.


-Zayd Ali 

President and Founder of OnSide



Learn more about OnSide's projects by clicking below.




Identifying Projects: locally and internationally

Advocacy and Education

OnSide's main fundraising platform is our fashion activism clothing brand, OnSide Design. All profits go directly towards funding our projects and efforts in the community, both locally and internationally. We also collect used equipment and jerseys from drives and partner organizations such as "Levelling the Playing Field". The final method of fundraising are donations, which can be given under the contributions tab of the website. 

Internationally, we identify refugee camps, programs or schools that could benefit from soccer supplies or scrimmages and find ways to connect with the kids there using Skype or social media, or even by visiting them. Locally, we will work with refugee kids to develop soccer programs as a way to help them adjust to their new surroundings, forge connections, and integrate into the community.  

OnSide Design along with being the main fundraising method for OnSide is our education and advocacy platform. We aim to use this aspect of our organization to spread our message of inclusion and equality to youth around the area. Additionally, we share experiences, articles, and information about the power of soccer diplomacy by writing, speaking and networking. 



Get in touch with OnSide to learn more about our work and find out how to donate. We appreciate your support!


P.O. Box 40102




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