FootySF was honored to join a select gathering of the Bay Area soccer and non-profit communities at a Marina District home last Monday to hear streetfootballworld’s founder Jürgen Griesbeck (inset photo below) and Managing Director, Mike Geddes, talk about marshaling the beautiful game for social change throughout the world.

Representatives from Bay Area non-profits, Soccer Without Borders, Street Soccer USA, America SCORES Bay Area, Tides Foundation, and Coaching Corps, joined Senda Athletics, Jogabo, SF City FC, Full Circle Fund, San Jose Earthquakes, and others to hear about the history of streetfootballworld and their initiatives all over the globe.

SWF_1578streetfootballworld has its origins in Colombia where Jürgen lived at the time of the tragic murder of Colombian national team player, Andrés Escobar (poignantly documented in the film, The Two Escobars).

The killing effected him on such a deep emotional level, he created Fútbol por la Paz (Football for Peace), a youth project using football to combat violence in Medellin.  Then in 2002, he founded streetfootballworld in an effort to network organizations around the world also using football to address local issues, such as AIDS prevention and gender inequality.

In a brief but inspirational talk, Jürgen and then Mike Geddes, touched upon some of the organizations in their global network. Attendees were shown a video about Grassroots Soccer, a non-profit begun in Zimbabwe in 2003. Grassroots is using soccer to help eradicate HIV and AIDS through education and testing, a concept pioneered by another great organization, Kick4Life.

We were also introduced to of Dust and Football, a soccer apparel company that produces football jerseys representing various non-profit organizations using the power of the game to change livesEvery jersey sold means a donation to the charity depicted.

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Many Bay Area organizations present at Monday’s gathering are already members of streetfootballworld’s vast network of organizations, and some we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside.

Street Soccer USA-Bay Area was the recent beneficiary of our 3rd Annual MLS Cup Benefit, which we produced with some help from Senda Athletics, SF City FC, and the San Jose Earthquakes.

America SCORES Bay Area has two events this weekend you can find listed on our Events page, while Soccer Without Borders will soon be celebrating their 10th anniversary!

All in all, an inspiring evening mingling with good folks doing good works, both locally and globally, and sharing a love of the beautiful game!

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Thank you to Senda Athletics for providing the event photos.

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