OnSide: Using Soccer to Connect People
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. Here are our main objectives.
Step 1: Fundraising
The first step is to raise money in order to purchase balls, cleats, and jerseys for projects that we identify both locally and internationally. We plan to do this through crowdfunding campaigns and by involving our school and community.
Step 2: Identifying Projects, locally and internationally
The second step is to identify the best ways to utilize the resources available to us. OnSide aims to work both internationally and locally. Internationally, the focus will be in Latin America, but other parts of the world are also options. We would identify a program or school that could benefit from soccer supplies and find ways to connect with the kids by using Skype or social media or even by visiting them. Locally, we will find ways to work with kids who are refugees and develop soccer programs as a way to help these children adjust to their new country, make friends and feel part of the community.
Step 3: Advocacy and Education
Sharing experiences, articles, and information about the power of soccer diplomacy by writing, speaking and getting more and more kids involved.
Kids have an opportunity to learn about each other's lives and interests through the universal love of soccer.
Many kids in many parts of the world may not have met an American person, so by relating with them using soccer as a way of communication, we are already reflecting well on our country and they would have a good perspective of America that they may have never had before. At the same time, we will be learning about their country and culture, and gain a better understanding of how they live and play. And we would do this all while playing soccer, the best sport in the world!