Global FC (Global Futbol Community) originated as a community development project at a time when the issue of refugee resettlement was coming to the forefront of public policy debates in our country and around the world. Global FC was launched in Kansas City to help address this issue by bringing together diverse cultures to form just communities where all are free to be fully known and fully loved in pursuit of their God-given purpose and potential.
At a deeper level, the vision for Global FC was motivated by the experience of one families struggle to adapt into a country and culture not their own. Founder and Director of Global FC, Mariya Dostzadah Goodbrake recalls her family’s personal journey from war torn Afghanistan, displaced in Iran then India, finally to secure a better future in Canada through the resettlement system. Caught up in the web of conflicting cultures, beliefs and expectations between her Afghan Muslim heritage and the West, her sense of identity and belonging faced challenges to adapt. In 2013, Mariya relocated to Kansas City and encountered the refugee population in the Historic Northeast community.
In 2014, she visited the country of Jordan to connect with Syrian refugees displaced in the border town of Al Mafraq outside the Zaatari refugee camp. The experience opened her eyes to the devastation of war on children who make up more than half of the global displaced population. She was also able to witness how the sport of soccer was used as a tool in the refugee camp to promote healing and to provide children a sense of normalcy. She returned to Kansas City with the desire to identify what refugee youth in the community longed for, being reminded of those very same needs as a child struggling to navigate a new host culture.
Beyond access to extra curricular activities, academic support, family support and other needs, at the root level, the youth desired a sense of belonging. This unconscious quest for identity and belonging for so many resettled children became the driving force behind the Global FC vision.
In a country bombarded with programs, a small group of committed individuals were more interested in building a community rather than another program. This group also understood that to build such a community, they needed a relevant and meaningful tool … or a “common language.” Given its prevalence around the world, soccer was chosen to be the vehicle Global FC would use as a connection point, or catalyst, for transformative impact.
Since our inception, a small, dedicated staff has worked with a large group of amazing volunteers to support underserved youth by providing resources, opportunities, and relationships to help them overcome many of the obstacles they face. We provide youth with quality soccer opportunities and access to first-rate facilities, leagues, and tournaments; yet our mission does not end there. In addition to soccer, Global FC provides year-round education and mentoring support to help youth reach their greatest potential.
Our holistic and integrated approach harnesses the power of relationships for sustainable development and long-term impact. Refining our understanding of the various social, economic, religious, and cultural variables within the communities we serve has allowed us to navigate through the diverse cultures and form authentic and lasting relationships. As a result, our programs can address issues in different cultural and religious contexts. Our passionate staff, volunteers, partners and supporters are committed to investing in and enhancing our Vision: To cultivate a just community where members are free to be fully known and fully loved in pursuit of their God given purpose and potential.
It is our goal to create lasting HOPE: Hope in PLAY. Hope in SELF. Hope in a brighter FUTURE!
Welcome to the Global FC community!
Soccer is not only the great equalizer, it is a universal sport and language that speaks into the hearts of people around the world. Soccer plays a crucial role that supports youth in various ways and connects communities that share different beliefs, languages, nationalities, and religions. It is used in refugee camps to inject life and a sense of normality for displaced youth, it assisted in the healing process to transform child soldiers back to children in post war Rwanda and Sierra Leon, and the United Nations recognizes soccer as “…..the most effective sport in the international development field. Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have a widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and development”
-Secretary-General of the UN Ki-moon (2011).