Since this is kind of also supposed to be about my life, here’s an update: I’m working summer school. 2nd grade with Ms. Murray. Loving it so far!
Okay….now to more important things!
It’s June. That means it’s World Cup time! I’m not sure how reliable this is, but I saw from multiple sources that 260 million people watched the World Cup Final in 2006 and an estimated 300 million will watch it this year. That’s nearly the population of the entire United States. (Update: I read in TIME Magazine that “a cumulative 26 billion people” watched the World Cup in 2006 and even more are anticipated in 2010.)
The World Cup isn’t just popular. It’s important. Watch the lovely ESPN ad below, and Bono will tell you why.
International sport crosses borders like nothing else can. There’s an article from CNN called Why the Olympics Matter, and the last line rings true for the World Cup too.
Today, cheer not just for the United States but for the other 96 [or 31] countries as well. Cheer because any time so many nations congregate with common goals, under common rules and in peace ought to be cause for celebration.
-Robert A. Kaufman-
Sadly, events like this provide a massive venue for human traffickers. “The trafficking of women and girls for sexual abuse purposes is likely to increase in order to meet the expected rise in demand for sex.” (Charlotte Sutherland, ngopulse.org) It’s devastating to know that something I love so much can be used for such horrific evil. So, what can I do? What can you do? Be aware that it’s happening (knowledge is power). Give to support those who are fighting it. For me (and maybe for you too), be diligent, so one day I too can fight. And mostly, pray.
There are people working to make a difference though. Free Generation is doing a lot of great work to make their Red Card campaign known. And Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa is also making efforts, alongside UNICEF and the World Tourism Organization, to end child exploitation. (Check it out here.)
For another example of just how important soccer can be, check out this amazing story from Sports Illustrated about Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire: click here. The short version? Didier and his teammates from the Ivory Coast’s national team (The Elephants) helped to restore peace to a country torn apart by civil war. Beautiful stuff. (Big thanks to Justin Bailey for the link!)
If you love the World Cup as much as I do or just want to catch the fever, check out some of the links below. (Just click the image to get to the video.)