Overcoming culture gaps and spreading the benefits of inclusive education worldwide
In 2007, the BACC sent its first team of E-Soccer volunteers across the globe to Nairobi, Kenya for the first ever E-International trip. This inclusive sports trip would be the beginning of three more international trips over the next three years. In 2008, a few new faces joined the trip to visit Bangalore, India. A trip to return to Kenya occurred in 2009 and another trip to India happened in 2010.
Cristy Rangel, a local E-Soccer Coordinator, said “The most inspiring part of our trips was seeing how inclusive education is the most powerful thing you can teach. For some of these families, the ability to create an environment where everyone is welcome was just inconceivable in their mind. But we did it.” Cristy works as the E-International representative and traveled on the two teams to India.
Many families have been impacted by the E-Soccer program, founded by Russ Ewell, father of two sons with special needs. E-Soccer includes typical kids and kids with special needs on the same playing field. Kids of all ages work together on soccer drills and games to better their physical and social skills. The international program has changed lives all over the world. Families of kids with special needs are getting connected with families on the other side of the globe.
These connections are changing cultures. In areas where children with special needs and their families are looked at with shame, there is hope, friendship, and possibilities. The cities continue to send good news and plans for future trips are underway.
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