What is Woza doing about COVID-19?
With the extensive consultation of our Board of Directors, we have come to the agreement that it is unrealistic and irresponsible for us to run trips this summer.
Our focus remains on offering these formative experiences at the heart of our mission. We are following a road map that allows us to feasibly continue to do that while acknowledging current responsibility to public health risk management and challenges with international travel. In addition to likely travel bans and logistical hurdles, the health and well-being of our groups and those they interact with - especially our international partners in under-resourced communities - is paramount to us.
Although our programming has temporarily paused and our year-round operations will need to scale back significantly, Woza’s work continues. We plan to focus on Summer 2021 and offering custom trips for clubs and teams as soon as we are able. We remain motivated and committed to Woza’s future.
Please read more here.
What's the soccer level of most Woza players?
We're looking for soccer players who simply love the game. Many of our players currently play, or aspire to play, at the high school varsity level, but because of the many ways we'll use soccer (playing friendly matches and pick-up games, coaching, competitions, training - all with a variety of abilities) one's skill is less important than his or her passion for the game. We want travelers on our programs who are ready to use their sport to connect with others and learn about the world. We will play soccer (in some form) every single day of the trip.
Are phones, electronics, and communication home allowed on Woza trips?
Woza students are not allowed to have or use cell phones or computers during our trips. We believe this is the best way for our students to remain fully present during our programs and be most respectful to our host communities. However, all of our leaders will have a cell phone that can be used in case of an emergency and communications between all involved parties (Woza parents, students, office, and leaders) may be opened in extenuating circumstances. We also have full-time staff in our US office during the summer who can be reached 24/7 for urgent cases and during normal business hours for non-urgent requests from families. Throughout the trip, our US-based staff will send out regular updates with pictures and highlights from the trips.
Where do Woza groups stay?
On Woza trips, we stay in modest, yet comfortable accommodations. These are often three-star hotels or private guesthouses. We strive to provide space for our groups to congregate and socialize together. We aim to find quaint places run by locals that provide an authentic experience for our players. Rooms range from doubles to quads and will always be divided by gender.
Are flights included?
Flights are not included as part of Woza tuition. For all trips except Costa Rica, we will book a group flight departing from New York (JFK). We meet every child upon arrival and have them call home to confirm they have met their Woza leaders. Our leaders wear bright blue Woza shirts and are excited to greet the players. Our office is open 24/7 on travel days to ensure smooth logistics and provide support. We do the best we can to connect players to travel on the same itinerary so they can meet up en route and arrive together.
How much will the flight cost?
We often get asked to estimate the cost of flights for our trips. Since travel cost varies depending on timing, departure location, and availability, we ask families to visit google flights or your flight search engine of choice to see the up-to-date prices for travel. Woza recommends you book your flights promptly after receiving confirmation from us (once we receive and review your coach reference and medical form) to ensure low prices and maximum group coordination.
Below are the prices from our group flights for last summer, 2019. These do fluctuate annually:
Peru: $987 South Africa: $2096 Malawi: $2197
Please tell me about safety on Woza Trips.
Safety and risk management are on the forefronts of our minds throughout all of our decision making and trip planning. Travel inherently includes risks and unknowns and, like all tour operators, we are unable to guarantee absolute safety. We do our best to mitigate risks by pre-scouting all the places we travel and selecting reliable partners to work with. In addition, we recruit, train and support our leaders so they can provide the safest environment in which to have a fun and growth-oriented experience—the type of setting that makes Woza trips a success year after year. To learn more, visit our Safety First page.
What Happens if a player gets injured?
If a player is injured during soccer or any other activity, our leaders are certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR and there are quality health clinics and hospitals in every area to which Woza leads trips. In the case of any hospital or doctor visit, the player's parents will be informed immediately and they will be able to speak to their child, the leaders and any attending healthcare professionals. Woza Soccer provides every participant with a travel insurance policy that covers in-country medical expenses and emergency evacuation, if necessary.
Do players have free time on the trip?
Woza trips focus on time spent as a group, playing and coaching soccer, exploring surroundings and creating connections with partners. Bonding as a team and getting to know peers your age from around your own country is an important and unique opportunity., There will be times on the trip when players are able to go off in small groups to explore a market or a town. Leaders will select a meeting spot, set boundaries and establish a time players need to return. In addition, some evenings include less structured time for players to choose their own activity including playing cards, reading a book, or just hanging out in smaller groups at the group’s accommodations. Our leaders strive to balance the different amounts of structure required to meet the needs of each player.
What does supervision look like on the trip?
Our leaders are immersed in the group throughout the day and always stay at the same accommodations as the group each night. The majority of the day is spent all together, participating in group activities from coaching to playing soccer to exploring a cultural site or local market. While at the fields, we always have at least one leader not playing, surveying the scene and keeping an eye on both the group and the group’s belongings. In the evenings, players may have some downtime where they can unwind in smaller groups in their hotel rooms. Leaders are always present during this time and check in on players frequently, while also encouraging players to be inclusive and hang out in common spaces. Close supervision is central to our risk management approach. Although we can’t guarantee 24/7 supervision (our leaders don’t watch players sleep), we do get pretty darn close!