Success: Working with the US military to keep kids from gangs in Colombia
I am so happy to report that we hosted a very successful inaugural soccer tournament in Colombia – with nine more to follow in different parts of the country. The tournament, a collaboration with the US military and their Colombian partners, was created to strengthen the ties between remote communities and the Colombian government. The goal was to keep kids out of gangs. The result was profound.
Children from rural areas of Colombia are often trafficked into local gangs or criminal organizations. To prevent this, the Colombian government has created a countrywide campaign known as “Fe en Colombia” or “Faith in Colombia.” The program engages high-risk children and adolescents through recreational and cultural activities. The soccer tournaments SoA supported are a part of this program.
With help from our donors, SoA was able to provide equipment, soccer balls, and uniforms to put on 10 soccer tournaments – each taking place in a different, vulnerable village. I was able to attend the inaugural ceremony and tournament, and I saw, first-hand, how excited and proud the teams were as they marched through the streets in their new uniforms. As for the impact, one community leader told me, “It’s important to keep the kids involved so they can continue doing something good instead of running around doing something they will regret later in life.”
This project is a perfect example of how small-scale, targeted assistance can have an off-scale impact. Thank you for helping me make these tournaments possible.
Until next time,