Soccer for Peace
Soccer for Peace is a non-profit organization aiming to unite children of war-torn nations in their shared love of soccer. Based in New York City, the organization is entirely volunteer run with no affiliation; political, religious or otherwise.
Soccer for Peace's original programme, Camp Coexistence (uniting 44 Jewish and Arab childern through football), took place in Israel in summer 2005. Hailed as a great success, the project paved the way for expansion of projects within the Middle East and beyond.
Soccer for Peace's Scotland branch, Meadowbank Community Football Club, is more focused on social inclusion and racial integration, as well as skill building. This project provides weekly professional football training (led by Celtic FC community coaches) to refugees, asylum seekers, the homeless, ex offenders, disadvantaged youth and the BME community. MCFC also provides friendly and competitive games (both 5 and 11 a side), entrance into national competitions and group visits to local football matches. MCFC also offer further courses to select participants, including coaching and refereeing courses, music sessions and volunteering opportunities.
Despite being a relatively new venture, MCFC has already proved very popular, with players coming from all parts of the world: Scotland, England, Ireland, Sudan, Algeria, Somalia, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iran, Nepal and Saudi Arabia. United through football, one sees social integration in action each week at MCFC.