#RUFCCamp17 activites focus on healthy diets, infectious disease, risky behaviors and more!
#RUFCCamp17 volunteers packing up for the trip to #Uganda!
Infectious disease activity showing how rabies spreads.
Last week I attended an event held by Street Football World at the UCLA Anderson School of Business concerning the use of soccer for good and all the organizations rallying around the concept of soccer being used as a universal language to improve wellbeing around the globe. Street Football World is the world’s largest non-profit in the soccer for good movement that aims to improve societies around the world by encouraging unity through soccer and helping kids realize and achieve their dreams. Themselves and partners have given rise to programs in 79 countries that reach over two-million impoverished children annually. Members of the panel, including Manchester United’s Juan Mata, spoke about the power of soccer as a force for change among the two billion people that follow it and how we can mobilize such a large audience to support our message of global social change. Listening to the insight and experience of the panel at hand, including the Street Football founder Jurgen Griesbeck himself, has given me an extra boost in morale as we approach our own programs beginning in August.
This year RUFC has a wonderful group of enthusiastic volunteers who will be delivering health and leadership education to the students attending #RUFCCamp17, by far the largest group of volunteers to date. The lessons they will be teaching have been remade as new, engaging activities. They are all learner-centered and game-based. New as well as old partners will also be assisting us to deliver soccer training to all 1,000 awaiting players. Each participant will be receiving awards for completing the lessons, as well as the the traditional RUFC gift bag filled with shirts, pencils, and workbooks to use during and following the program. Moreover, thanks to Albion San Diego, we will also outfit over 25 teams on the final day of camp for our annual #RUFCTournament. We are all very excited to see how our new and improved camp will run and I look forward to bringing you good news when #RUFCCamp17 is all said and done. Be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat!!
One month from today, Ray United’s 3rd annual soccer camp will begin. This has gotten me thinking about what our camps bring to the table that make them so impactful and meaningful for all those involved. I have come to the conclusion that it is the sense of joy and unity the permeates through the whole experience that make our camps worth replicating year after year. The joy experienced by all involved in camp, whether volunteer or participant, serves as a reminder that happiness can always be achieved, no matter the circumstances. And our joy can be shared around the world. I recently discovered a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that reads, “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” I believe this is exactly what makes our camps so special and effective and why I look forward all year to getting to experience the pleasure of camp once again. Public health education can be delivered through classrooms and over mass media through posters and the radio. Warm food and water can be disturbed directly to those who need it without fanfare. But there is no joy in those actions. If I have learned anything working with poor, rural communities, it is that the youth living there are filled with joy and hope. They see beauty all around them and want to share their pride with others. RUFC camps allow them to do this, to be proud of their skills on the soccer field, to exhibit and share their knowledge about themselves and their community, and to express their future ambitions. In return we appreciate their potential, assist them in outlining their their goals, and teach them a few additional skills to help them along. All together we dance, play, and learn. RUFC camps are filled with music, laughter, and screams of joy as goals are made and games are won. It is pure joy and I can’t hardly wait for this month to pass.