It takes a village to raise a child…
Global FC is a holistic and integrated approach to supporting youth through resources, opportunities and relationships. Our program model is centered around building a village around each youth entering our Global FC community. The famous African proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child!’ originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb ‘Oran a azu nwa’. The Igbo’s also name their children ‘Nwa ora’ which means child of the community. The same sentiment is echoed in proverbs of various other African cultures, such as the Swahili proverb “One hand does not nurse a child”, the Sudanese proverb “A child is a child of everyone”
Volunteers within our sports, education, and mentoring programming, including our community resource partners are all members of our village. Our community approach supports and celebrates, while holding them accountable as rising ambassadors.
“Children belong to the extended family, society, and friends. Decisions are based on those ties. No one is left behind.”
– Aline, a Burundian mother
Household and Community Approach
Most of our Global FC youth come from communal and tribal communities which is central to their sense of identity. Our family engagement efforts become vital as a strategic effort to engage youth at an identity level. Our youth come from “countries where the family and local community are far more integrated—and central to identity, meaning, and survival—than is typical of the more individualistic culture prevalent in the U.S. today” (www.brycs.org) Much of our Global FC families have been uprooted from their communities, family members frequently lost or they have been separated from family members in their journey to safety. Most efforts in the US have an individualistic approach to programming with youth which can limit longterm sustainable impact.
While fostering relationships, building bridges with families becomes a priority. Being accepted as a credible voice by the family allows our volunteers to speak into the life of the youth in deeper and more meaningful ways. Refining our understanding of the various social, religious and cultural variables at play have allowed us to navigate through the diverse cultures, forming lasting relationships. Therefore, our programs can best address issues in different cultural and religious contexts.
Global FC was established to “build a community not an organization.” More than providing services, Global FC creates connectedness by facilitating the modern American Melting Pot. Global FC players are drawn into their new community through an appreciation for the unique contributions their native cultures make to their new home. With a spirit of acceptance, Global FC youth, families and volunteers meld, providing youth the encouragement to succeed as Americans in their new land of opportunity. Our community approach enables new American youth to experience a transition into normalcy much quicker, providing a physical and social outlet as well as respite from an otherwise precarious environment, thus regaining a sense of security.
“Global FC is a team of many nations and one awesome family”
(Nejmadin Ahmad, Sudan Boys U17)
We leverage the power of soccer
Soccer-based programs are successful when combined with other interventions and programs because soccer itself does not solve social issues. Rather, soccer is our vehicle for transformative impact. We leverage soccer to increase performance and attendance at school, behavior development, and to build community ambassadors.
Academic and mentoring support are not optional, but requirements when a child enters our programming. Our integrated approach allows our volunteers to maintain healthy and effective dialogue with volunteers from different areas of programming to ensure that the village around each youth can collectively support, celebrate and hold youth accountable.