In the fall of 2020 when we made the decision to close our doors indefinitely, it was with risk management on our mind and our mission at our heart. We believed this was the best way to carrying out our mission as it allowed us to allocate our remaining physical and financial resources to our community partners and chosen beneficiaries who share our mission and commitment to using soccer as a vehicle for social impact.
Woza Soccer was proud to donate over $50,000 as we closed our doors, including donations to our chosen 501(c)(3) beneficiaries and donations to our international partners as follow-through on student-funded impact plans. We also donated soccer gear to organizations based in Seattle and New York City. You can learn more about our partners and beneficiaries here.
Impactful Service: Before, During and After our Trips
At Woza, we believe service should not end when you leave your trip. Therefore, on each trip we devised plans to stay connected and continue helping our partners throughout the year. Each itinerary was carefully crafted around our community partners. Our partnerships were carefully vetted and resulted from multi-year relationships with local contacts and soccer experts. Woza staff members invested a significant amount of time during the non-summer months connecting with our partners and seeking to understand their unique needs and approaches to local issues.
We encouraged all of our players to do a soccer gear drive before they embarked on their trip each summer. We all have old cleats, balls, jerseys and shin guards lying around that would make a kid's dream come true in South Africa, Malawi, Costa Rica or Peru. This was a great way to engage with your local community and get in the right mindset for your Woza trip. It was also an incredibly rewarding experience when groups donate the gear at the end of each trip to their new friends. We donated cleats, jerseys, soccer balls, goalie gloves, cones, ball pumps, and team backpacks.
During a typical summer we donated:
557 pairs of cleats
72 Sports Bras
140 soccer balls
While We Were There
Woza strove to develop meaningful, long-term relationships with our international partners. We searched for partners who are using soccer for social impact; partners looking to make a difference in their communities. On most trips we worked with one main partner in order to establish a cohesive relationship and build lasting partnerships. In South Africa we worked with Mtuba Football Academy; in Costa Rica we worked with Puntarenas FC; and in Malawi we worked with Ascent Soccer. In Peru we split our time between a few different partners, taking advantage of traveling to different towns in the Sacred Valley. Across all trips, Woza players spent time coaching kids, playing with peers of the same age, and creating connections across cultures as they play and travel. In exchange, friendships were formed and a deeper understanding of culture was shared.
Each summer we spent :
2,300 Hours working with our partners
After a Woza Trip
One of our goals was to create a network of global soccer citizens around world who understand the positive social change soccer can create. Another goal was to sustain our partners year-round and connect with them beyond the summer. To achieve these goals together, we designed a curriculum to teach our students about the field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) and empower them to take what they learned on their Woza trip back to their own communities, high schools, and club teams. Each trip culminated with an impact plan designed by the players to help raise money for a specific need of the partner. Woza players were responsible for identifying a key area of need of each of our partners and devising a plan to implement this with the support of their leaders. Once each summer concluded, we elected 12 Woza alumni to join the Student Leadership Board (SLB) to help us continue to implement these plans throughout the year, as well as weigh in on other important Woza decisions and initiatives.
Impact Plans current Alumni are working on:
Mtubatuba, South Africa
Girls in rural South Africa don't have many opportunities for education.
Raise $8000 to send players to US college ID Camps so they can use soccer to further their educaiton
George, the founder of Ascent, often is limited where he can recruit players for the Academy. This year, our players committed to expanding his reach so players in the more rural areas of Malawi have the same opportunities to attend Ascent.
Raise $4500 to put on a soccer tournament in Lilongwe for players from across Malawi.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Many families do not have the funds to enroll their kids in the soccer club.
Woza players plan to raise money to support the Punta Arenas's scholarship program fso all kids can participate.