The Power of Soccer: A Promising Tool for Youth Empowerment A Case of Soccer-Based Health PDF
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The Power of Soccer: A Promising Tool for Youth Empowerment A Case of Soccer-Based Health PDF

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire.

The Power of Soccer: A Promising Tool for Youth Empowerment A Case of Soccer-Based Health PDF


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 governments in breaking down racial barriers.

It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. (Nelson Mandela, as cited “Racism Is a Monster,” n.d.)

The Republic of Ecuador, nestled in the northwest corner of South America, has a long history of social inequality, especially affecting its indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian population.

The Power of Soccer: A Promising Tool for Youth Empowerment A Case of Soccer-Based Health PDF


Although the country has enjoyed a state of relative stability since Rafael Correa ascended to the presidency in 2007, the Ecuadorian people are still struggling from the continuing effects of Spanish colonization.

Garces (2000) noted that “in Ecuador, the citizen as a subject with universal human rights is missing. Only the specific person has value, with his/her friends and prestige, weighted with attributes: he has the right of being treated decently” (as cited in Roitman, 2008, p. 19).

Although the constitution should protect all citizens, social inequality and discrimination still exist in Ecuador.

The purpose of this culminating project was to identify the power of soccer in the context of international development and apply it to soccer-based youth empowerment programs, specifically an after-school program at El Nacional public school in Ecuador.

Soccer is becoming one of the best approaches to connect various peoples who do not share the same language or cultural traditions because of its universal popularity, as evidenced by the more than one billion people who watched coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2014 Final Match (numbers to be consolidated) (“The 2014 FIFA World Cup,” n.d.).

Given the evidence that soccer has the power to attract people, one can use it as a tool for social change.

Among the literature researched, soccer-based projects and related studies showed the effectiveness of the use of soccer as a tool to tackle various social issues, even while some also mentioned the necessity of deeper study as this is still an emerging field (Tannenwald, 2013; UN Inter-agency Task Force, 2011).

Therefore, further research is needed to affirm the potential power of soccer approach to social issues among youth.

This culminating project further identified the role of soccer in an international development context and presented suggestions for applying soccer effectively in an after-school program at El Nacional public school in Ecuador.

The Power of Soccer: A Promising Tool for Youth Empowerment A Case of Soccer-Based Health PDF


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