Michaela Towfighi wrote -
This summer I am participating in a nine-day culture exchange trip to Granada, Nicaragua through the program, Soccer Without Borders (SWB). As stated in their mission, SWB uses "soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success."
When I learned about SWB I immediately connected with it mission and purpose to utilize sports as a way to build and develop friendships, confidence, and meaningful relationships. The more I read about the SWB organization, the more determined I became to get involved and give back to a sport I love, while promoting girl empowerment.
I have been fortunate enough to be presented with equal opportunities in sports and education as boys, however for the girls in Nicaragua, this is not the case. In Granada, girls are presented with obstacles every day, as 28% are pregnant by 18, 52% do not complete primary school and many are expected to help with their family by raising younger siblings. SWB Granada provides 154 girls ages 7-20, with the opportunity to not only participate in organized sports but also receive educational and economic support.
During my time in Nicaragua, I will live in a small town fully embracing the culture through a homestay with a local family. As we are traveling to Nicaragua during their school year, I will experience their daily school routines and help tutor the girls. The main focus of my trip, however, will be to coach and play soccer with the girls.
Prior to my trip, I am responsible for raising funds to support SWB Granada. In addition to monetary donations, I will be collecting any gently used soccer equipment and school supplies to bring with me. If you have any questions or simply want to hear more, I encourage you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or explore SWB's website at soccerwithoutborders.org.
Thank you so much!!