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Sports for Social Change is a three-week summer exchange program that uses sports, specifically soccer, as a tool for youth empowerment, leadership development, and community building. American university students join a cohort of student coaches from Cambodia and Vietnam to lead a weeklong soccer camp in Vietnam and a two-week camp in Cambodia.
There is limited access to organized sports, especially for girls. These soccer camps enable local youth to develop an interest in sports and develop team-work, conflict resolution and other social skills. The program promotes cross-cultural friendships between students of two Southeast Asian nations with a long history of war and distrust.
Since many of the campers are girls at risk for human trafficking, coaches teach valuable life skills and encourage campers to excel in school. Student coaches act as role models for campers, while also experiencing their own group cultural exchange, community living and leadership development.