International Service Trip
Soccer For Change uses soccer as a platform to develop life skills for underprivileged children around the world. In the area that Soccer For Change serves, children love sports and enjoy an active lifestyle. Unfortunately the limited amount of resources, shortage of equipment and run-down facilities put a sizeable restriction on the opportunities children have to engage in structured sports programing. Soccer For Change wants to give children that opportunity.
As a volunteer, you will be giving underprivileged children a chance to benefit from the positive effects of sport by leading a free soccer camp for children in the community. By giving them this opportunity to engage with structured sports activities lead by passionate volunteers (just like you!), we can make a real difference in their lives and their communities with lasting impact.
The instructional language will be English and Spanish. Participants will know little to no English, however, Soccer For Change team members from the community will be their to help you overcome the language barrier. Soccer is a great opportunity to provide sports specific English exposure to the children in our program. No soccer experience is required.
Date: February 17th-24th
Sports teams, universities, colleges, high schools, churches, families and individuals are all welcome to join us for this soccer service-learning experience that highlights fun and the value of team building and leadership skills. As a volunteer you will grow and develop personally through our Youth Leadership Development Program while giving back to those in need. The skills you learn during formal training sessions and team building activities will transfer to your role as a camp leader. This experiential learning opportunity as a leader on the field will give you hands on leadership experience and provide a chance to put what you are learning into practice. All volunteers will be involved in managing and operating the camp, teaching soccer fundamentals along with life skills and positive character traits.
This unique service trip is an opportunity for soccer enthusiasts of any skill level to get involved and make a difference through the sport we love.
Having a huge passion for the beautiful game, I knew this trip was meant for me. As a volunteer for Soccer for Change you take on the role as a leader, a coach, a mentor. Having heard that the commonly played sport in the Dominican Republic was baseball, we couldn’t have guessed the estimate of children to show up to our camps. Turns out, lots of children want to play futbol (soccer). This soccer camp caught the attention of the Monte Cristi community we stayed in. Right from the get go Soccer For Change was invited to a futsal (5v5) tournament. We got to play against children of all ages and see that there indeed was a good level of skills of soccer in the Dominican Republic. During this tournament the local Monte Cristi mens soccer team was scouting us and they contacted Marcus for an exhibition game later the week. We had kids from our camps show up to this game and played alongside our team. Even though there was that language barrier between most of the volunteers and the kids, it didn’t stop us from coming together and making a connection with each other.
July 2016 will be my third time I head over to the Dominican Republic for a camp. If you are interested but are feeling hesitant, don’t! Soccer For Change has a great group of individuals who will make sure you are welcomed with open arms to their team. The volunteers you will work together with are there for the same reason you are. This is a trip I would highly recommend to family, friends and volunteers!
Located on the North coast of the Dominican Republic, Soccer For Change volunteers serve in the small town of Sosua. The Dominicans lively culture and welcoming island vibe has made the country well known in the tourism industry. However, the social injustices lead by European conquistadors are still present in modern society, this is one factor that contributes to the poverty and hardship many members of the community face every day. In this laid-back beach town many of the residents find work in the agricultural industry, fishing the local waters or selling goods in the local markets.
The Soccer For Change program donation includes Flight, Meals, Accommodations, Youth Leadership Development Program, Transportation and Travel/Medical insurance. The program donation does not include the $10(US) fee to enter the country, $20 (US) fee to exit the country, or personal snacks and shopping.
7 days: $2,400 CAD/per volunteer
Team discounts for 10 or more available upon request
In addition to leading camp activities, Soccer For Change volunteers in will expand their cultural understanding of the struggles of living in a developing country through excursions organized by Soccer For Change. We recognize that an essential component of a service trip is understanding and experiencing the culture and the people that you serve. Visiting the local museum, participating city tours led by locals, and eating traditional Dominican meals are all invaluable parts of the service trip experience.
Volunteers stay at the Sosua By The Sea located right on the beach. Soccer For Change covers all of the logistics, allowing volunteers to maximize their time being involved in direct service programs in the community and learning about the local culture.
Housing and Meals
Volunteers will be staying in a hotel in the Dominican Republic that is located in safe residential areas with convenient access to the center of town and the local culture. Volunteers share simple, comfortable rooms with modern bathrooms, and enjoy common areas ideal for relaxing, reflection, or visiting with other volunteers.
Meals served at the Soccer For Change program include both local favourites and North American classics prepared by the hotels professional staff. Plenty of clean, purified drinking water is always available. Click here to visit the hotels website.
- Reading area
- Safety Deposit Box
- Security personal 24 hours a day
- Wifi throughout the hotel
- Hotel rooms with all amenities
- Cable tv
- AC unit
- Cold and Hot water
Soccer For Change arranges the ground transportation during your time with us in the Dominican Republic. We meet you at the airport to take you to your volunteer location in comfortable, safe buses. At the end of your volunteer time, we take you back to the airport with plenty of time to check in for your return flight. During your time volunteering with us, our professional staff arranges all of the transportation for volunteer work, cultural activities and excursions.
Our Top Priority
We know that health and safety can be primary concerns for volunteers who are traveling abroad to developing countries, at Soccer For Change, your health and safety is our top priority as well! Our professional and reliable program ensures volunteer security, allowing volunteers to focus on their service mission.
When volunteering with Soccer For Change our professional Canadian leaders will provide volunteers with a complete orientation regarding our common sense guidelines and our specific safety and health measures that ensure everyone’s wellbeing. Excellent medical clinics are located near our facilities and on-site leaders support volunteers for the duration of their time with any health or safety needs.
The following practices ensure your volunteer experience with Soccer For Change is a safe one.
Soccer For Change works in one of the safest developing countries in the Western Hemisphere. In the Dominican Republic, many of the locals have relatives in North America and the cultural influences from baseball and tourism have created a positive North American image that is reflected in how well volunteers are received.
Soccer For Change focuses its development efforts in rural areas far removed from the large cities and tourist areas where crime is more common. We intentionally work in small towns where we can meet the needs of underdeveloped and under-resourced communities, while benefiting from the security of rural areas.
Common Sense Guidelines
Common sense in a developing country may be different than common sense at home. We educate our volunteers on safe conduct in-country, to avoid unexpected consequences.
Helping our volunteers stay healthy is a top priority of Soccer For Change. Below are some ways we keep our volunteers healthy:
Full Time Staff
We have a full time international and local staff leading your team. They live and work full-time in country, and facilitate the volunteer experience. Being with people who live in the country you are serving is key to ensuring your personal health. You will be living in the same facilities and eating the same food as our leaders who live there year-round.
Bottled water is available 24/7 for our volunteers to help keep everyone well hydrated. Purified bottled water is used for cooking in hotel kitchens.
Professional Nearby Clinics
Although very uncommon, if a volunteer gets sick to the point of needing medical attention, or receives an injury, there are good private medical clinics near our facilities in the Dominican Republic. Soccer For Change leaders facilitate the clinic process and assure appropriate translation for receiving treatment.
There are no required vaccinations in the Dominican Republic.