An organization based in San Francisco, California is using the beautiful game to bring positive change to marginalized youth across the world. The story of Soccer Without Borders is an inspiring look at what effect soccer can have for children and communities anywhere.
In 2005, the organization’s founder and current Director Ben Gucciardi began thinking of a way to link soccer with social development. The idea had been sparked by a failed plan of Gucciardi and friend Kyle Hartman to bike from San Francisco to the southernmost point in Argentina. The trip never developed thanks to some logistical problems, but the dream survived.
Using the resources available at Lehigh University, Gucciardi began doing some preliminary research into creating such an organization that would go to places and teach soccer.
The seeds of Soccer Without Borders were planted and after winning an entrepreneurial competition on campus, the duo was rewarded with start-up money for their venture. A pilot program was completed in Nicaragua and Gucciardi learned to make a website after returning and the rest is history. “From there, it has really just took a life of its own, says Gucciardi, “New people get on board and bring many new and great ideas to the table.” Continue reading