ENVEST: Day 5- Social Action Projects
ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training) is a sport-for-development initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy Division. The goal is to increase cultural understanding using sport as the vehicle.
Since the initial ENVEST meeting in Kazakhstan seven months ago, the youth participants have been working on social action projects that use soccer as at platform for cultural change. The American youth delegation presented their projects before departing Kazakhstan. Today, the youth players from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan presented their social action plans in a unique setting: a 9th grade Russian language class at Maggie Walker Governor’s School.
Each group took about 10 minutes to explain the social issue they wanted to address and how their plan could benefit their community. The issues are diverse: from making club soccer more accessible, to reduce social media addiction among teens, to making healthy food more available to improve nutrition.
Most of the students spoke in Russian. The American students listened intently, some trying to translate on their own and others waiting for the the interpreter to relay the message. Our visitors discussed the differences between being a teenager in their country compared to America.
Following the presentations, the delegation offered a small gift to their peers: a pin bearing portions of the Kazakhstan and American flags in the shape of two hands shaking. A small group of school ambassadors answered questions from the delegation, mostly about what their day-to-day life is like.
It just so happens that one of Richmond’s most popular doughnut shops is across the street from the high school. Before the presentations, Dr. LeCrom brought two dozen of Sugar Shacks finest creations for our guests to enjoy.
The delegation returns to the soccer pitch this afternoon, which is their last full day in Richmond before heading to Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
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