Volunteers combine home-building with soccer in Brazil, Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers combine home-building with soccer in Brazil

Habitat Brazil has been at work since 1992, and volunteers have helped serve more than 10,000 families.

Later this month, a Global Village team will travel to Recife, Brazil, to help repair homes — and to use their love of soccer as a way to build unity. Looking ahead to the World Cup 2014, these “World Soccer Team” volunteers will represent different countries and demonstrate the importance of teamwork, both in house-building and in sports.

Volunteers will build with 10 families in Bomba do Hemeterio, where employment opportunities are few and more than half the population is made up of women, most of whom are heads of households. After repairing and rebuilding houses, the GV volunteers will engage with local children in soccer games and clinics. The week will end with an exhibition game.

“Around the world, soccer is a universal language,” says Steve Little, Habitat’s communications director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “It crosses borders, brings together cultures, provides an equal playing field where teamwork defines success. It’s a powerful metaphor: Our ability to supersede our differences and work together defines the impact we will have on other people’s lives.”