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NEW YORK – April 7, 2010 – With the eyes of the world now fixed on South Africa as it readies itself to host this summer’s FIFA World Cup, volunteer placement organization Projects Abroad is tapping into the excitement by offering community development soccer placements in South Africa. The organization, which currently operates a variety of projects in South Africa is offering two separate programs to coincide with the staging of one of the world’s greatest sporting events. It is hoped that with the timing of these placements, Projects Abroad will attract the attention of the huge influx of travellers visiting South Africa for the Soccer World Cup and encourage them to have a more meaningful experience.

One of the placement options involves coaching soccer in the disadvantaged communities of Parkwood, Grassy Park, and Retreat in Cape Town. Projects Abroad has transformed its usual School Sports project in South Africa into a mock World Cup tournament for the summer. This project will focus on skills training with children aged between 8 and 15 years old on municipal fields and in schools. The second option gives volunteers an opportunity to work with an organization called Grassroot Soccer. Founded by former professional soccer players in 2002, Grassroot Soccer (GRS) trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world’s most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to young people.

According to Projects Abroad’s Executive Vice President Thomas Pastorius, Jr., “Sports can play an important role in nation building and as an organization we are happy to be able to use soccer and this major event as a means of empowering youths.”

There are thousands of children in Cape Town with a passion for soccer in the Cape Town and Projects Abroad aims to positively channel this energy by providing volunteer trainers and coaches. Volunteers on the World Cup tournament project will focus on improving soccer skills and promoting the importance of team work and fair play. The project allows volunteers an opportunity to spend plenty of time on a soccer field providing encouragement for the disadvantaged children who have a love for soccer, keeping them off the streets and out of trouble. This project is also being offered as a special two-week program targeted at high school students wishing to take part in a group trip.

Volunteers on the Grassroot Soccer placement must have completed at least one year of university in any field but preferably in education, youth or social development, or in international relations. They will work directly under the supervision and direction of local Grassroot Soccer Coaches, performing a wide range of roles including helping to run education programs at the Soccer for Hope Center and the implementation of the ‘Skillz’ curriculum. The Soccer for Hope Center is a project of “20 Centers for 2010,” the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and is managed by Grassroot Soccer.

Projects Abroad is offering its special World Cup programs throughout the course of the FIFA World Cup, which runs from June 11-July 11, 2010. The two-week High School Special trip is scheduled for Sunday, June 27 to Saturday, July 10, 2010.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

A UK-headquartered company, Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 24 countries and recruitment offices in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Holland, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s Web site at

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