Woza Soccer’s creation was fueled by two simple ideas: 1) sport is a powerful way for people to connect and 2) soccer is more than just a game; it’s a tool used world-wide for social impact. Seven years after Woza’s inception, there are 300 alumni with the Woza experience inspiring their futures (including nearly 50 who traveled thanks to full scholarships and even more thanks to significant need-based grants), our partners have expanded their programming and possibilities, and their own participants have had their horizons broadened as well. This would not have been possible without our incredible network of participant families, donors and friends – and I am so appreciative of your support over the years.
With bittersweet emotions, I want to share that the Woza Board of Directors and I have decided to close our doors indefinitely. This pandemic has far-reaching effects and Woza is no exception to its reality. As we looked ahead to summer 2021, we listened to the comfort levels of our families, we considered the impact on our international partners, and we recognized the challenges of offering international trips of our nature – trips lacking a guarantee of feasibility and involving a high degree of risk for locals and visitors alike. We considered pivoting our operations or continuing to wait until conditions improved, but in taking a hard look at our organizational mission, we decided it is not responsible or in line with our goals to continue operating given the current landscape.
We're hopeful there may be a right person at the right time in the future to revive Woza, but for now, we believe this is our best path forward as it allows us to carry out the Woza mission by allocating our assets to our inspiring partners.
In addition to following through on the Impact Plan projects financed by alumni fundraising efforts, we have identified several of our fellow 501(c)(3) partners as the beneficiaries of our remaining financial assets and soccer gear. We look forward to supporting Ascent Soccer, Elm City Internationals, GOALS Haiti, Open Goal Project, Peruvian Hearts, RV United, Soccer Without Borders Seattle, Starfinder Foundation and South Bronx United. For those looking to further the work of our mission, we recommend connecting with these multi-year partners of ours.
Woza will live on in the memories of those impacted by our mission, including the alumni who participated on our trips. We encourage you to share your memories on our website’s blog and our Instagram and Facebook pages. Most importantly, we hope you harness the power of connection, empathy, sport and teamwork as you chart your futures and help shape the world.
As our original Board President recently said, “Woza lives on through the memories it has created and the perspectives it has changed. Those will far outlast the current pandemic.” We thank you for all of the memories and for the great pride we feel today.
Woza Soccer, Executive Director