love.fútbol: a Catalyst for Change

love.fútbol: a Catalyst for Change

We can all agree that the game of soccer is a game of passion.  This passion we find in the beautiful game has proven to serve as a catalyst for change.  The necessities for soccer are basic; a ball, a field, and those brought together by their love for the game. This is where love.fútbol comes in.  I met with the Chairman of love.fútbol, Andreas Roell, to chat about this amazing non-profit.

For Mr. Roell, a prominent figure in the San Diego community, soccer has been his outlet since childhood.  From playing professionally in Germany to attending college in the U.S.; soccer has given him exposure to different cultures, backgrounds, and discipline.  Ultimately, soccer has given him the opportunity to grow in his current career and has given him the expertise to serve as the Chairman for love.fútbol, where he provides financial planning and strategic business direction for the organization.

He met the founder of love.fútbol, Drew Chafetz, through his daughter’s non-profit incubator competition. Although fove.fútbol finished 3rd in the competition, Roell was immediately drawn to their cause.

[quote_box_center]”We have our team engaging communities to take ownership over their own soccer projects and become true protagonists in the process. That’s what it’s all about: empowerment and ownership.” —Andreas Roell[/quote_box_center]

Community gathers around their newly constructed soccer field.

Community gathers around their newly constructed soccer field.

Guatemalan volunteers paving the pitch with smiles on their faces.

Guatemalan volunteers paving the pitch with smiles on their faces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

love.fútbol empowers communities to plan, build and operate their own soccer fields. They become low-resource, high-impact spaces that act as hubs for social programs and generators of social enterprise. Soccer leagues, soccer schools, kiosks, cultural events, and soccer tourism are just a few examples of what can be activated on the field. The building of the space is just the beginning and represents an opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of those who need an outlet to practice sport and come together as a community.

By having a safe space to play soccer, young boys and girls are given an outlet which keeps them off the streets where violence, alcohol and drug abuse is prominent.  School attendance in these areas rises and children gain life skills like, teamwork and discipline through the sport.  love.fútbol has completed 18 projects throughout Brazil and Guatemala, impacting thousands of youth who are now able to play soccer every day.

love.fútbol faces challenges in their inspiring goal.  As a non-profit organization, they must maintain funding for their efforts.  While approximately 98% of the funds they raise go directly toward the construction of the field, they must also be able to compensate their dedicated employees.  They are also looking to boost awareness and gain support through committed partnerships and donations. Some of their goals for the upcoming year is to make an impact at home, in the United States.  They also are hoping to expand globally in African and Asian countries.

Check out their website here to learn how to get involved!

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