Posts Tagged ‘i-to-i’

World Cup-Inspired

So I’m not sure whether Paul the Oracle Octopus will choose Spain or the Netherlands to win the World Cup, but I do know that the World Cup has finally conquered the US with Football Fever (soccer for us with our weird naming), bringing us up to the level of the rest of the world where the sport has been the most popuar on the globe.

When I was researching sport volunteer options for 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference, I had a tough time filling a chapter with any sport-focused volunteering that WASN’T soccer. I found a swimming coaching program here, maybe teaching tennis to kids in a distant land there, but mostly it was all about footie. So if you are a player or juts a fan, you can help kids and adults around the world find the importance of teamwork, exercise, and community building all with that black and white ball (or a bunch of t-shirts tied into a sphere–the beauty of soccer is there isn’t any fancy equipment or playing field required).

Find out more by checking these out, and using it as a launching pad–there are many more…

The Homeless World Cup takes place in a  different city each year, after qualifying tourneys in their own countries, championship teams, all homeless players, converge for a huge tournament run by volunteers like you. 2010 is in late September in Rio.

Also in Rio is a coaching kids volunteer gig via Institute for Field Research Expeditions.

i-to-i does soccer coaching volunteer vacations in Posada, Argentina (as well as a host of other volunteer vacation opportunities).

World Endeavors will get you to Accra, Ghana to work with kids as they play through their passion for football.

Pitch in teaching on the pitch in La Esperanza, Honduras with Intibuca Soccer Volunteers.

In Madurai, India, the sport and community clubs keep active with international volunteers who visit and work with Travellers Worldwide. Working with the same organization, kids in Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka need volunteers like you to help get fields safe (gravel, dirt, and broken glass don’t make for great play) and run tournaments.

How about some soccer coaching in Chisinau, Moldova? Projects Abroad gets you there and sets you up to help kids excel.

In Hout Bay, South Africa, the vuvuzelas were blaring for the World Cup, and kids are eager learners, benefitting from your coaching with Abang Africa Travel.

Closer to home, in Santa Cruz, California, the Resource Center for Nonviolence has inspiring volunteer programs focused on community sport/soccer league for at-risk kids.

There are 14 urban areas across the United States: Atlanta, Bay Area/San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, DC, Denver, L.A., Miami, Milwaukeee, New England, New York, Seattle, and St Louis that all benefit from the volunteer efforts of soccer coaches and supporters via the America SCORES program for sport and creative expression.

Five Years On

Five years ago, on Boxing Day 2004, the tsunami that now bears the name of that day-after-Christmas holiday, took the lives of 230,000 people in a dozen Asian countries in a ferocious and tragic turn of natural events.The cataclysmic wave event was triggered by a 9.0 earthquake with an ocean epicenter off the coast of Sumatra

In a frightening and somewhat sickening coincidental twist, today’s news reports: A strong earthquake struck Indonesia on Saturday (Boxing Day) just before 6 P.M.  The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, was centered in the Banda Sea region off the Tanimbar Islands. A tsunami warning was not issued by authorities, and there were no immediate reports of injury or serious damage.

Perhaps today would be the ideal time to schedule a volunteer vacation to help in community building in one (or more) of these recovered, rebuilt communities.

Spend just a day or many working in Thailand or Sri Lanka. North-by-Northeast does volunteer outreach in tsunami-hit Andaman villages in Khao Lok province of Thailand. You can teach English, helps at schools, beach clearing, mangrove reforestation, and other community-building activities. http://www.north-by-north-east.com

i-to-i does coastal community volunteer work trips from 2-12 weeks in Sri Lanka. You’ll do beach revitalization and community teaching projects as well as helping with the seat turtle conservation project. http://www.i-to-i.com

There are of course many other avenues to being of service in these and other communities recovering from natural disasters. None of us can ever prepare for something like this, and any community so hard hit would depend on outside help for years to come. Take a moment today to think about the power of the natural world and how quickly everything can change, without warning, in any life. Then think about making a concerted effort for change in your own.