What is Woza?
"My Woza trip made me appreciate how soccer can connect people all over the world." - Amanda, Potomac, Md.
For seven years, Woza Soccer harnessed the power of the beautiful game as it offered financially accessible international summer service trips to high school players. With soccer, service work and cultural immersion at the heart of each itinerary, Woza broadened the perspective of players by demonstrating their ability to connect with people of all backgrounds and engage long-term in soccer-focused social impact. Woza groups were coed and comprised of players from across the country. The only requirements for joining a Woza group were a love for the game, an open mind, and an adventurous spirit. As a nonprofit, Woza prioritized keeping trips financially accessible and using proceeds to support our partners.
In late 2020, Woza decided to close its doors indefinitely. The 2020 pandemic had far-reaching effects and Woza was no exception to its reality. As we looked ahead, 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. 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 carry out the Woza mission by allocating our assets to our inspiring partners.
But what does "Woza" mean??
“Woza!" "Woza Mvelo, WOZA WOZAAA!!!”
If you’re anywhere near a game of soccer in Zululand, South Africa, it's impossible not to hear it. “Woza” translates to “come” in the Zulu language, and on the soccer field, it's slang for "pass me the ball." Soccer players in that part of the world use the term to plead for the ball from teammates (Woza! WOZAAA!), express dismay about a poor play (Wozaaahhh....), and generally "speak soccer" on the field. It is the one word you need to know to make connections.