“It is essential for children in high-risk areas to receive more innovative education in mine awareness.”
to engage and inspire
Our Story began in 1996, British soccer coach Scott Lee returned to Bosnia
He had spent years driving humanitarian aid convoys during the civil conflict, to deliver a coaching program for UK soccer club Arsenal FC. While he was there, a group of children were playing soccer when one set off a landmine. Three of the children were killed, four were maimed. All were under ten years old. LEARN MORE
This tragic incident made Scott Lee certain of two things: Firstly, wherever the location and whatever the risk, children will always want to play soccer. Secondly, this love for a simple game could be harnessed to teach important safety messages and help prevent such incidents in the future. Spirit of Soccer was born.
Since then, Spirit of Soccer has engaged over a quarter of a million young people across 10 countries affected by current or past conflict, educating them on the dangers of landmines and weapons of war, using soccer to engage and inspire.
Through hour-long sessions that blend football drills and Mine Risk Education messages, creative educational materials, workshops for coaches and teachers and large soccer festivals that bring young people together across conflicted regions, Spirit of Soccer has delivered thousands of programs over 18 years.
Currently working in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America, Spirit of Soccer delivers sessions with local organizations and global funders alike, and can expand and develop in regions depending on partners’ needs.
Please make a donation, and get involved!
Spirit of Soccer is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Therefore, your donation is 100% deductible.
The aftermath of war
exists for so many
Every day, 11 children are killed or maimed by landmines or weapons of past or current conflicts.Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), landmines and Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) cause injury or death indiscriminately for years after conflicts have ended.
According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 70-85% of reported casualties are civilians – many of them children. According to UNICEF, an estimated 85 percent of child victims of landmines die before reaching the hospital.
Children, particularly refugees and displaced children returning home, are in particular danger of landmines because they are most likely to be unaware of the dangers of playing in or traversing hazardous areas. Naturally curious, children are most likely to pick up strange or shiny objects thinking they are toys, or to try to salvage them for scrap metal.
A child injured by a landmine will face months of painful recovery and a struggle to afford replacing prosthetic limbs as they grow. Many never return to school and face discrimination and social exclusion.
Landmines devastate the lives of children by killing or maiming their parents or caregivers. When mothers are maimed or killed, children are less likely to receive adequate nutrition, to be immunized or to be protected from exploitation. When fathers fall victim to landmines, children are often forced out of school and into work to supplement family income.
Help us reduce child casualties in conflict zones around the world.
“The way you deliver this program, in a dynamic and creative way, makes it easy for the children to catch the information and the methodology is easy to adapt to everyday life. I thank you for being here.”
teacher, El Encanto School, Puerto Esperanza, Castillo
“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
SOS Board of Directors
$10 pays for clean drinking water for 150 children.
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