Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Can a soccer league save a community?
I think so. I will be implementing a social experiment in a post-disaster community which is going through a major transition from dependency on an NGO to self-reliance. The most critical component the leadership wants to protect is the communities low delinquency rate. In order to do so, I am helping to plan a long-term soccer tournament that will involve the majority of the community. In order to inscribe, each team must do a service project for the community.
The benefits are numerous:
high civic participation by members
increased social capital within the community (greater trust among members)
a healthy outlet for youth and young adults, especially men
a cleaner, better infrastructure (due to the service projects)
the youth will learn the value of service to the community
playing soccer has wonder health benefits
we may be training future world cup stars
So, perhaps soccer can save the world--beginning at the community level.