After the final whistle – social impact in overtime

February 13, 2017

On our last blog we talked about the debate about whether voluntourism and ‘mission trips’ contribute to sustainable impact or meaningful leave-behinds for the Host destinations.

As we discussed in that edition, here at the third half we’re very focused on creating sustainable impact and building ongoing relationships between our hosts and our travelers. In this blog we’re going to examine how that works.

First, a bit of background: Last summer, Pace Academy sent a group of travelers from Atlanta to experience the culture and challenges of the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, and how local third half host Kick4Life is working to tackle them. On that trip were high-school students Sam Delman and her friends Schuyler and Jordan. They loved their experience so much that as soon as they got back to the USA, they started looking for ways to continue to provide support to Kick4Life. They came up with The Universal Language Soccer for Service Club, which already boasts over 60 members and last November they hosted their first equipment and fundraiser drive for Kick4Life lIn addition to raising funds and collecting equipment, they also will be working, through soccer, with the Syrian refugee population in Atlanta!

We caught up with Kick4Life founder Pete Fleming to talk about why having overseas supporters is so important to their work in Africa:

  1. Hey Pete! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you walk us through your initial reaction on the development that these students from Pace Academy are starting a soccer service club because of their time @Kick4Life?

We are so delighted that Sam, Jordan and Schuyler have decided to set up The Universal Language Soccer for Service club and we are very grateful that Kick4Life has been selected to benefit from the first equipment and fundraising drive. We’re excited to see the club progress!

Universal language club Pace

Caption: Pace Academy students signing up to support Kick4Life, led by Sam, Jordan, and Schuyler.

  1. Great! What impact do you see the activities of the Pace soccer service club having on Kick4Life?

The wonderful thing about the Kick4Life program is that every dollar raised makes a direct impact in the lives of the youth on our program. Through our long term, holistic approach, we support the disadvantaged youth on our program to achieve their potential in life and any donation will go directly to supporting this initiative. The equipment drive will provide essential gear to support our vulnerable youth with the necessary apparel to play soccer. 

three boys_ball

  1. Thinking more long-term, what are the potential benefits to Kick4Life in collaborations like this?

A key part of the Academy program at Kick4Life is to support our participants to obtain student-athlete scholarships at Prep-Schools and Colleges in the US. We hope this type of collaboration will:

1) Provide long-term fundraising and equipment support to ensure a high quality environment for the youth on our programs; and

2) Strengthen our links with potential Academic institution partners in the US for potential student-athlete scholarship pathways.

  1. Any additional reflections on this unexpected outcome from the first the third half collaboration?

The vision of our partnership with the third half is to use the universal language of soccer to bring communities and people together in cultural exchange dialogue. The fact that Sam, Jordan and Schuyler have taken the initiative to continue to support the vulnerable youth on our program is a perfect example of that, and it provides a wonderful illustration of the power of the beautiful game.

during the opening ceremony of the FIFA football for hope center in Maseru, Lesotho, on Saturday, September 24th 2011. (FIFA/Alessandro Della Bella)

We couldn’t agree more, and will be closely monitoring the activities and successes stemming from the newly developed Pace Academy club. Keep up the great work, Sam & Co.!

You can follow Kick4Life on social media here:

And you can donate to the registered charity here, to help fight poverty and disease in the developing world.

the third half.

travel. play soccer. change the world.