Building on friendships that grew from November events in New York and Pennsylvania when (US Embassy Buenos Aires-sponsored) a team from the FuDE organization in Argentina sent a delegation to conduct street soccer workshops at the Orange County NY YAP Program and then shared a workshop on street soccer and game in Harrisburg as part of the 40th Anniversary activities, YAP Ireland staff and Newburgh staff reunited to introduce street soccer to the YAP Ireland community in Dublin and Galway this month. Jason Wilson, Director of Intensive Services at Orange County YAP, and Advocates Michelle Toia and Ezra Vega share this report from the field:
YAP, Inc participated in a cross cultural exchange with YAP Ireland from May 5 through May 11. On May 5th, YAP Inc staff trained team leaders, advocates and community supports in the methodology of the street soccer movement. During this time, staff were introduced to core values of respect, cooperation and solidarity through using soccer as a tool of social transformation. On Friday, street soccer programming was implemented with over 35 young people and staff coming together. Through icebreakers, interactive activities and street soccer demonstrations, the youth of Ireland were invited to participate in the street soccer modality.
Throughout the exchange, it has been profoundly awesome to meet the young people, advocates and staff that live and breathe the mission every day. It has been a wonderful experience to be here with the YAP family that have continued to go above and beyond in their work to keep kids safely at home.
Through continued collaboration, I look forward to shared success. YAP Ireland now has the tools to move the street soccer programming forward in Ireland and possesses the passion and capabilities to transform lives, change biographies and in the process, make the world a little brighter for all.
Special thanks to YAP Ireland staff for coordinating the activities and their warm welcome: Andrew Chapple, Brenda Kennedy, Peter McGeough and the rest of the YAP Ireland team!