Volunteer Soccer Coaching and Social Work in Bolivia
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Cochabamba
- ROLE: To improve the soccer skills of disadvantaged children and help with ongoing community projects
- AGE OF STUDENTS: 4-20
- CLASS SIZE: 30
- REQUIREMENTS: None
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Soccer is the national sport of Bolivia and along with the rest of South America Bolivians take their soccer very seriously. Coaching soccer is a way to unite and inspire children and by volunteering on this soccer project you can combine coaching the sport with important community based social work.
Projects Abroad volunteers work with the soccer school Pelota de Trapo. This school has been helping children through physical activities since 1994. Volunteers work closely with the head soccer coach, William Ramallo, who founded the school and also played in goal for the Bolivian national team in the 1994 World Cup.
This project combines coaching soccer with various aspects of community and social work. The school helps disadvantaged families with nutritional problems and offers medical aid, and provides scholarships to the poorest children who would not otherwise be able to afford the school’s fees. There are also programs for women and children with HIV/Aids.
International Community Development through Sports
The soccer school has approximately 300 students between the ages of 7-17. As a volunteer you will be asked which ages you prefer to work with. Depending on your Spanish language ability you may be able help one of the coaches with their players. Volunteers with a good knowledge of soccer may be given more responsibility and the opportunity to create their own coaching programs.
All volunteers who participate in the soccer side of the project are also asked to participate in the community social work activities for the 30 underprivileged families who live on site. This may include caring for the children, or just visiting the families and participating in daily activities.
During the school year, soccer practice starts at about 3pm. Routines include warm up exercises and technical instructions before starting a game. The last class at the school ends at 7pm. During the school holidays the soccer school is also open in the mornings and afternoons.