Top Stories of the Week from Can Soccer Save the World

This is the first edition of a weekly newsletter I will be doing to highlight stories of people using soccer to bring about positive social change.

This week:

  • #VibeTheGoal to Empower Yuwa
  • Brazilian emigrants Guga and Gua Alencar help children in Haiti by incorporating soccer into school.
  • Pass the Ball documentary chronicles 15 year-old Ethan King and Charity Ball
  • Football for the Blind in Brazil
  • Football Beyond Borders’ Legacy Projects in Brazil

If you wish to submit news, please contact me. In the meantime, read on and please share with your networks.

#VibeTheGoal to Empower Yuwa

This football season the power to score a goal isn’t in your feet, but in your hands. Every conversation you have on Viber empowers YUWA to enrich the lives of these girls through football, education and creation of a permanent centre of excellence for their training and sustenance.

Watch the video and visit their website ( to be a part of the initiative.

Brazilian emigrants Guga and Gua Alencar help children in Haiti by incorporating soccer into school.

gugahaitiGuga and Gua, who run a Miami-based soccer camp called Joga Bonito, wanted to use their passion to help deeply impoverished (78% live on just $2 a day) and under educated (only 50% attend school) Haitians. So, the couple joined forces with Soccer for Development, a program through HavServe that uses soccer to incentivize children to make the sometimes hours-long trek to receive education.

Since the Soccer for Development program began, attendance at school has more than tripled and four schools have been built.

To help expand Soccer for Development’s efforts, Guga and Gua are raising money (link to fundraising: to build a new soccer field and to get new classroom materials.

Pass the Ball documentary chronicles 15 year-old Ethan King and Charity Ball

Pass The Ball from dress code on Vimeo.

ethankingpictEthan King is a 15 year old from Michigan whose dream is to give soccer balls to kids all over the world. “Pass the Ball” chronicles Ethan’s most recent trip to Mozambique with professional player Neven Suboti?. Ethan and Neven not only donate new soccer balls but share how soccer can help cross borders and foster community.

At just 10 years old, Ethan started Charity Ball to deliver high-quality, professional soccer balls to kids who could otherwise not afford them. Since then, Ethan has helped hand-deliver over 4,000 soccer balls to youth in need across the world. Many many thanks to Sappi Paper and their Ideas that Matter Grant for making this possible.

Football for the Blind in Brazil

urece_2_18332Gabriel Mayr from Urece Sports and Culture for the Blind (Urece Esporte e Cultura) in Rio de Janeiro developed the first Brazilian blind female football team and has coordinated the audio-descriptive commentary in Brazilian stadiums.

Read more in this piece from our friends at

Football Beyond Borders’ Legacy Projects in Brazil

brazillegacyprojectsSince January 2014 FBB members Jack Reynolds and Paul Kell have been living in the football-mad favela of Alto de Ondina in Salvador de Bahia.

Reynolds and Kell have initiated three projects in collaboration with the local community:

  • The Favela World Cup on 15th June, which will bring together international fans and residents of the favela, and was recently featured in The Guardian.
  • Talk.Play.Learn, an intensive English language programme benefiting 40 young people, which harnesses the power of football to make learning fun and relevant
  • Favela Accommodation Project, which is working with local families to provide accommodation for fans visiting Salvador. Hear about it on Radio 4’s You and Yours or read about it in The Guardian.


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