8 December 2016

Servicios de Educación y Promoción Juvenil (SEPROJOVEN) is a Costa Rican organisation that uses football to promote the personal development of disadvantaged boys and girls as well as the social inclusion of indigenous people and migrants. The organisation is also a proud and longstanding member of the streetfootballworld network. 

 

At the moment, SEPROJOVEN is running several projects. One of its main projects this year has been the gathering of young women living in Guararí and Los Cuadros de Purral, two poor districts located in the central Costa Rican cities of Heredia and San José.

 

This establishment of this group was sponsored by the Olympic Committee of Costa Rica, ‘Comisión Mujer y Deporte del Comité Olímpico’, which equips women with the skills they need to be project mediators and community leaders. The group not only engages in football for good, but further offers the community self-defense courses, social activities such as bowling events and much more. After one year of engaging in teambuilding activities through sport, workshops, and discussions, the group has successfully organised a soccer festival for children from Guarari and Los Cuadros de Purral. This event, organized by girls and women between the ages of 14 and 20, was followed by a graduation ceremony to honour its dedicated team.

 

In addition to forming this all-female football for good group, SEPROJOVEN has started a new project aimed at including local indigenous communities: Ja Dengä Bolabdtä. Ja Dengä Bolabdtä translates to ‘let’s play football’ and is both the name and the motto of SEPROJOVEN’s newest project.

 

Ja Dengä Bolabdtä is sponsored by FIFA's Football for Hope programme and aims primarily to identify and strengthen community leaders who can serve as role models through playing football and creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere for all.

 

Together with the indigenous leaders and youth, SEPROJOVEN is additionally building up a football school for children living in the indigenous communities of Ngobes, located in the southern Costa Rican territory of “Conte Burica”. In this case, football is nearly the only means of providing local youth with new opportunities as well as knowledge on how to protect the environment and their own communities. Football also enables them to build bridges with local indigenous communities in Ngobes. This is only one of the ways SEPROJOVEN is working with indigenous communities that are often discriminated against so as to strengthen their understanding of their rights and to not let violations against them go unnoticed.

 

In light of these exciting and ongoing projects, SEPROJOVEN is now seeking new volunteers!

 

Being a volunteer at SEPROJOVEN consists of playing sports and games with children from the disadvantaged districts of Heredia and San José, as well as children living within indigenous communities. Other duties can include Public Relations work such as publishing articles, attending networking events and, most importantly, voicing your own new ideas for the organization.

 

There are currently two major projects taking place in two different southern communities, one of which is located in Salitre and the other in Conte Burica.  Both of them share the same goal: to establish a football school to provide local youth with new opportunities and understandings of how to protect their environments and build their communities, often amongst indigenous communities.

 

As a volunteer, you are immersed into the local culture, traditions, and everyday experiences of a population that goes largely unnoticed by its own national citizens. Ultimately, SEPROJOVEN enables someone to experience a unique working opportunity and make friends that will last a lifetime.

 
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