What is Pay It Foward ?
Pay It Foward is an idea that anyone can make a positive change in the world. It is taken from the movie with the same name and adapted in order to empower the children that we work with. This is how it works.
First, we believe that getting something for nothing disempowers and leads to dependency on others to take care of one's own needs. Some of us have seen this first hand in Mexico and Honduras as thoughtful North Americans donate their efforts building houses, bringing down clothing, sending books, etc. Unfortunately, this has encouraged some Latin Americans to "depend" on this aid--rather than work to improve their community, or work to buy their own house, they wait for the generous Americans to do it for them.
Second, the idea of Pay it Foward is quite simple. If I do something good for three people and they do something good for three people, the idea will spread like wildfire. Please see illustration.
We want the children to do something good for their community--to feel like they can make a positive difference. If a child knows this, then perhaps as an adult she will be more likely to work for a better life for herself and encourage others to do the same. The possibilities are endless.
Right now we have children in Mexico working to clean up trash in their neighborhoods, children in Brazil painting murals in the community, children in Honduras helping the adults build a park and a soccer field for their community. These kids are helping others and we therefore, are helping them.
Finally, and most selfishly, this is the way the volunteers of The Futbol Project give back. We love soccer and/or we love kids. We want all kids to have a fun and beautiful childhood. If we can offer these underprivileged children a chance to be kids even for a moment, then it is all worth it.