By Ali Akil (YES 2014-2015, Lebanon, placed by AFS in Cranston, RI)
On October 27th, I collaborated with Blues Football Academy to plan, fund, and coordinate the “Let’s Kick It” soccer training event for underprivileged kids at the Kaskas Football Field in Beirut, Lebanon. This event was designed to help encourage young participant using sports, teaching them the importance of exercise while having fun in the process. The event provided an opportunity for underprivileged youth to participate in sports. It consisted of multiple training stations that included game planning, mini soccer games, and shooting drills.
“Let’s Kick It” encouraged small football academies to maintain working to provide underprivileged youth communities with skills, confidence, and assistance to develop positive personalities. At the end of the event, medals were distributed to the participating kids to show that life is not just about winning but sharing experiences with each other. It demonstrated to the participants how sports can unite people regardless of nationality, race, gender, or age.
During my program year in the U.S, I was part of my high school soccer team. My host family and I attended Sunday soccer games organized in our local community. Upon returning home, giving back to my local community in Beirut was important to me. Students, parents, and coaches enjoyed the event and are looking forward to further collaborative events with the YES alumni network in Lebanon. The next event proposal we are currently working on aims to provide goals and nets for the soccer field, which is currently not equipped with these things. I hope our efforts will help positively impact the community by providing a space for kids to enjoy playing and learning sports together.