One of the most exciting aspects of being involved in UKSD is the opportunity to participate in a UKSD Social Change Leadership Tour. Our Social Change Leadership Tours span across the United States or designated areas overseas, where we have long lasting relationships with other like-minded soccer organizations.
These trips allow volunteers from various high schools, colleges and universities, similar organizations, and people who simply value the power of sport and giving back to travel to different areas of the world with UKSD lead coaches, in order to work one on one with children in lower socioeconomic areas, as part of the Kidz Play 4 Free Project.
It is our belief that sport and education should be accessible to every child. Yet, this is not always the reality. Due to limited access, funding, and numerous other factors, there are many children who are not granted these opportunities. Through our Social Change Leadership Tours, we aim to provide the tools and equipment specific areas need to begin growing their programs. Our high school aged participants work with us extensively before travelling to assess the needs of a particular community. In speaking with the individuals or organizations we will be working with in these various locations, we learn of both their needs and their goals. Then, we work to collect donations, equipment, and build curriculums that will allow for sustainable growth and development within a given area.
Our volunteers are required to adapt an all-hands-on-deck approach, where they are tasked to participate in the pre-travel research, planning, and then implementation of the curriculums. Each member is expected to take on leadership roles and encouraged to design their own mentoring and project based opportunities. Our goal is to foster a mindset which promotes sustainable connections. We are not simply traveling to a location to drop off supplies and leave. We are travelling to work with and learn from another community, to give assistance in their desired areas of need, to build leaders and global thinkers, to create sustainable and long term programming, and to promise to continue to come back and support.