Learn how you can use
soccer to change lives
*There are opportunities available to extend this program including an internship placement supervised by a trusted local Woza partner. Please contact
for more information regarding trip extensions.
**We offer need-based grants ranging from $1000-$2000 based on income, as well as full scholarships. Please visit our Grants & Scholarships page.
June 24-July 14
Tuition does not include round-trip group flight from JFK to South Africa
Learn firsthand about the field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) through seminars and meetings in Cape Town
Immerse yourself into the complex history, culture and landscape of South Africa through field trips, seminars and an African safari
Work in small groups to devise and implement your own SDP project in a rural community
Monday to Friday
9:00am to 5:00pm PST
Phone: (206) 900-5436
New York, NY (JFK)
New York, NY (JFK)
16-20 years of age
Join Woza for an intensive soccer leadership trip in South Africa, open to older players with an interest in creating lasting impact through soccer. Our program begins with introductory seminars in beautiful Cape Town and finishes in the country's warm, coastal Zululand region, where we will work directly with rural soccer organizations and enjoy a safari. Through a focused leadership curriculum, we will study South Africa's complex history, engage with local organizations using sports for social change, and culminate the experience by forming small teams to execute our own local soccer impact project.
Optional Trip Extension & Internship Placement
This trip has an unique opportunity where players can extend their visit and remain in South Africa on an internship placement with a local Woza partner in Zululand. Players choosing this option are supervised by our partners and stay with a trusted local host family. There is an additional cost for this extension.
Football for Life (FFL) is one of our partners in South Africa. Anna Nyman, the director of FFL, has spent the last 7 years building a safe haven for girls to play soccer. She, along with an all women coaching staff runs holiday soccer camps for girls ages 14-18 drawing kids from all over the rural Zululand region. Beyond training twice a day, she carves out time for life skills sessions to use soccer as a vehicle to each empowers girls to be strong and independent. For a week of camp, these girls get to play the sport they love and be themselves with out any responsibilities to household chores. Our Woza group joins FFL for two camp sessions and helps coach and design life skill curriculum to facilitate discussions about respect and women's empowerment using soccer as the initial connector. Experience it for yourself this summer on our SA leadership course.
Below is a sample itinerary which is subject to change.
Days 1-2: Trip Start
We will meet at JFK airport in New York ahead of our group flight (booked by Woza), getting to know one another through a juggling circle at our gate before departing for South Africa. After landing in the city of Cape Town, we will take a private shuttle to the coast where we will acquaint ourselves with our new home and refuel with our first South African dinner.
Days 3-5: Introduction to SDP Concepts – Coaching – Local SDP’s – Impact Plan
We will begin our program curriculum with readings, discussions and speakers focused on the field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), looking specifically at soccer as a tool for SDP. With an eye to our coaching and program implementation later in the program, we will also begin discussing how to effectively work with youth in a development setting. Through visits to some of Woza's SDP partners in Cape Town and its townships, we will witness first-hand soccer’s potential as a method for positive social change. Finally, we will bring the entire curriculum into focus as participants develop an impact plan they will put into practice for the following two weeks in Mtubatuba, South Africa.
Day 6-8: Cape Tour – Table Mountain – Robben Island
Part of our time spent in Cape Town will be spent traveling to some of the area's most famous sites. We will travel by cable car up Table Mountain, towering over the city with panoramic views of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and all of Cape Town. We will visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and other prominent South African Civil rights activists were imprisoned during Apartheid. We'll also spend time at a colony of African penguins and take a tour of the Western Cape, visiting the most Southwestern point in all of Africa.
Days 9-11: Travel to Mtubatuba – Introduction to MFA
After flying from Cape Town to Durban we will take a private shuttle into Northern Zululand, driving past lush sugar cane plantations and rows of timber trees to reach Mtubatuba. Mtubatuba is the home of Woza's oldest partnership with Sheldon Hughes and his inspiring Mtuba Football Academy (MFA). Over our first few days, we will be welcomed into MFA as full members with a small ceremony and then proceed to get to know the coaches and players over a few initial training sessions and mixed-team friendly matches.
Days 12-15: Implement SDP Impact Plan & Explore Zululand
Having used the previous week's learning about SDP and developing our own SDP impact plans, we will spend the next two weeks tweaking and carrying out our impact plans with MFA and other soccer partners in Mtubatuba. An academy that has over 100 players, MFA will benefit from impact plans based on research-backed SDP strategies to address challenges faced by local players.
Day 16-18: Implement SDP Impact Plans Cont. - Richards Bay Tournament – Explorations Cont.
Amid ongoing implementation of our impact plans, we will travel to Richards Bay for a community soccer tournament between MFA and the other local academies. This week we will also enjoy an African safari in 4x4 vehicles in the famed Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game Reserve (Africa's oldest wildlife sanctuary). On these trips, we will explore the numerous beaches and coastal ecosystems offered by this beautiful region. As a final piece of the program curriculum, participants will write a reflection paper about their experience in South Africa and their understanding of soccer as a tool for positive social change.
Day 20-21: Traveling Home
At the end of the trip the group will fly together back to JFK, where students will be met by family members or make connecting flights home.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Students Perspective
The hands-on experience that Woza gave me is something I will always treasure. I wanted it to be everything that I had built it up to be in my mind--and it exceeded my wildest expectations. Taking what we learned and saw at GRS and implementing it in Mtuba was also incredibly eye-opening. It was a chance for me to use the skills that we learned and talk about real, important, and relevant topics like leadership and gender equality--topics that I feel qualified by experience to talk about. I really appreciated the consistent conversation about voluntourism and the support our leaders showed us throughout those difficult conversations. This was an experience that I will hold with me forever.
--Kelsey, SALC '17, Haverford College
What is the weather like in South Africa?
When we travel to South Africa it will be winter in the southern hemisphere. However, Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate and fairly mild weather during the winter. Mtubatuba benefits from year-round pleasant weather due to its northern location on the Indian Ocean Daytime temperatures on this program will range from 60-75°F and at night will drop to 40-50°F. We will receive some rain and cooler days on this trip, but the itinerary has been built with flexibility and weather adaptability in mind.
How often will my child have access to showers and laundry?
We will have access to showers every day. All accommodations offer hot showers, however, as is the nature of traveling in a country with less developed infrastructure, there’s always a chance of an occasional cold shower. Over the course of the 21 days, we will do laundry collectively as a group 3-4 times at our accommodations. We encourage students to wear things more than once before washing to cut down on packing and keep laundry efficient.
For answers to more frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ's page.
Hometown: Hanover, N.H
College: Dartmouth 2016
Woza Trips: South Africa '19
Brendan played four years of varsity soccer at Dartmouth and he also started medical school there this fall. He intends to become a pediatrician. Prior to medical school, Brendan worked in a medical clinic and coached local soccer teams in Rwanda. He also led a bike trip for teenagers from Seattle to San Fransisco.
To learn more about Brendan visit his leader profile.
BEFORE YOU GO
International travel requires a sense of adventure, as well as prior planning and preparation. You must have a valid passport, though no prior visa is required for South Africa. Woza Soccer strongly recommends families of students traveling abroad consult their child’s doctor and visit a travel clinic well before the start of the program to discuss options for travel-related vaccinations and medications. Woza Soccer is not a medical authority and cannot directly advise students and parents regarding travel related medications or vaccinations. As a result, Woza Soccer does not require students to obtain specific travel-related medications or vaccinations. Typically, travel to South Africa simply involves having up-to-date vaccines. Again, we recommend consulting with the CDC and your child’s doctor. We will provide additional instructions regarding international travel preparation once you sign up for a Woza trip.
Travel to and from JFK
Each family is responsible for arranging transportation to and from the JFK airport during a specified window so the group can fly together to South Africa. Woza staff will be at the JFK airport to welcome you at the start of your trip and to assist with your departure. They will be the ones with huge smiles and Woza Jerseys. If you are flying to and from your start airport, we will have you call home once you arrive and before departure. Additional specific travel information, as well as the group flight itinerary, is available for all South Africa participants closer to the trip’s departure.
The Woza Experience
Woza Soccer trips are adventures full of soccer and cross-cultural connections while bonding with a new group of people and learning about the work of an inspiring local soccer partner. To provide the best immersion and group bonding experience possible, we ask that students leave their cell phones and other electronics at home (though cameras are more than welcome).
All Woza trips involve the rewarding challenge of visiting a new country and meeting new people while immersed in a different culture. Some days will be more challenging than others. We ask you to come prepared with a flexible mindset and positive attitude so if changes do occur beyond the control of you, your group, or your leaders (ex: weather, itinerary changes, or delayed travel) you can continue to contribute to an enthusiastic group, and help create a successful trip experience.