Better Than The World Cup- Soccer Without Borders Baltimore

You may have heard about soccer being used as a tool to engage at risk immigrant children. Well, Jill Pardini is doing just that with Soccer Without Borders-Baltimore (SWBBaltimore).

This is heart-work. This is justice work. This is transformational stuff in Baltimore, MD.

Even though I wave my hands so much during the interviews that I look like a baby bird trying to take flight–you HAVE to watch the videos or at least listen to the podcasts on iTunes.

When you get overwhelmed with all the bad news streaming in from other media sources…come back and listen again. The Grinch himself would join SWBBaltimore at practice because their work is just that good.

Stop and imagine–You are 8 or 14 years old and most of your life has been spent in camps in foreign countries because your home country is too war torn to live in or you barely escaped ethnic/religious cleansing. You survived but you find yourself in a new country with only part of your family in some of the worst parts of Baltimore. If you’ve heard of The Wire…you know what I’m talking about.

(If the video is misbehaving/not showing up click here or

Jill Pardini is the Program Director of SWBBaltimore of that runs two teams of boys who are all refugees or political asylees. During the season, SWBBaltimore trains twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at a middle school near the apartment complexes where five of the refugee communities (Iraqi, Congolese, Eritrean, Nepali, and Bhutanese) have been resettled and plays on the weekends.  During the week, there are two mandatory tutoring/homework sessions for every participant.  In addition to regular programming special events including workshops, college visits and team outings to watch professional soccer games are open to all participants.

(If the video is misbehaving/not showing up click here or

In these sessions we discuss:

  • How to start a program when the need is obvious but the solution seems elusive.
  • How to teach improve ESL, team work, anger management and life lessons (Go Gina Gabelia!).
  • How to bootstrap your dream.
  • How to take big risks.
  • How to avoid getting yelled at by Grandpa Jack.

Watch the videos

Visit Soccer Without Borders Website

Follow SWBBaltimore on Facebook

Follow SWBBaltimore on Twiiter

One thought on “Better Than The World Cup- Soccer Without Borders Baltimore

  1. Pingback: Expert Witness: Assessing Kony 2012 With Reason | Pitchforks Optional

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