"The World's Game, Helping the World's People"
Elkhorn Soccer Club (ESC) has been introduced to a local nonprofit in Omaha called
Football for the World Foundation
(FFTW), as ESC coach, Emily Michaels, is the Development and Event Coordinator for the organization.
FFTW's mission is to improve the quality of life for children through the game of football. By using the game as a tool, FFTW is able to equip, educate, excel and empower children on and off the field through its flagship programs which include Equipment, Environment, and Development. They collect and ship donated football equipment, conduct pitch renovations, and provide programming to communities locally and abroad. This falls in line with their vision of a world where all children have access to food, education and sport. FFTW believes that sport can influence a child's life to overcome their circumstances by teaching lessons such as confidence, teamwork, perseverance, etc.
On January 2, 2018, Michaels and a group of eight volunteers traveled to Kingston, Jamaica - the organization's fourth trip to Kingston - where they spent a week training with local teams and donating equipment. FFTW has a partner on the ground in Kingston, the
Game of Life Foundation
(GOL), whose mission is similar to that of FFTW's, but they work exclusively on a local level in Jamaica.
This year the FFTW team partnered with GOL at their second annual GOL Charity Games. The charity games raised money to support programming in local Kingston schools and football programs. The day's events consisted of youth matches, a women's match where Michaels and the FFTW women got to play alongside current & former members of the Jamaican Women's National Team, and two men's matches with professional players hailing from MLS, USL and EPL teams.
FFTW-USA President, Monica Bosiljevac, has led all four trips to Kingston and said, "I am extremely proud of how this group worked together throughout the week. At FFTW, we talk about teamwork, respect, communication..all the things you learn through soccer. This group truly demonstrated these skill sets with each other."
Overseas professional player, Mayme Conroy, made her FFTW debut this year. "
The conditions and facilities that were available to the kids playing football were nothing compared to what we are so fortunate to have," said Conroy. "But that didn't stop them from playing!," she added. Conroy says she left feeling very blessed and learned a lot from the children, including skills she's never seen before!
In total, the Jamaica team was able to donate over 300 jerseys and 100 pairs of cleats that will benefit the young footballers of Jamaica.
Our club's eyes have been opened to the impact of the FFTW team and we even started contributing to the cause this past fall with equipment donations.
If you would like to get involved through gear donation or volunteer opportunities, please contact Emily Michaels at email@example.com.