5/11/12: First Shot
By Steve Baumann, President
Think Globally, Act Locally
Made popular as an environmental slogan in the 70’s, “Think Globally, Act Locally” has particular resonance with our programming here at Starfinder as so many of our young people are first or second generation Americans with origins across the globe. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and serves as a wonderful entry point for learning about the many connections we share with other cultures and peoples around the world.
The Passport to Excellence curriculum that we use with our Future and Junior Leaders includes lessons about eighteen countries from six continents with an emphasis on geography and cultural diversity. For each country, we also highlight a historical national figure that epitomizes one of our core values, such as teamwork, integrity, respect, or persistence. For the past eighteen months, all of our participants have been contributing to the creation of a mosaic mural that will be installed this September outside our building in Manayunk. The mural celebrates Soccer for Social Change…Leadership Beyond the Game (our motto) while beautifully presenting the national team badges of many of the world’s soccer playing countries.
After a great trip in 2011, once again this summer seventeen of our Senior Leader boys will travel to Sweden to play in the Gothia Cup, the world’s largest youth soccer tournament. Sponsored by SKF USA, the experience provides the opportunity for our boys to meet young people from all over the world and learn from each other as they compete in a sport they all love. When they return they share eagerly with their peers what they have learned and how the experience has broadened their understanding of different cultures.
Starfinder is one of five US members of the 91-member streetfootballworld network. Members are united in their belief that soccer has the unique power to change lives and bring people together behind a common goal. Projects and funding from streetfootballworld have enabled Starfinder to learn from and share best practices with like organizations working in Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia. Our young participants are inspired and motivated as they learn about other organizations like Starfinder that are working all over the world to improve health, education, and opportunity outcomes for boys and girls who face tremendous challenges.
In September 2012 Starfinder will participate in the United Nations International Day of Peace as part of activities associated with Peace Day Philly 2012. We are now working with our Senior Leaders to examine areas of conflict around the world. They will then come up with ways to share what they have learned with the greater Philadelphia community. Keep reading to learn how soccer at Starfinder provides a wonderful platform for our young people to think globally while they act locally in the Philadelphia community we all share.